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Predictors of Social Distancing and Mask-Wearing Behavior: Panel Survey in Seven U.S. States

Plamen Nikolov, Andreas Pape, Ozlem Tonguc and Charlotte Williams
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Andreas Pape: State University of New York at Binghamton
Ozlem Tonguc: State University of New York at Binghamton
Charlotte Williams: State University of New York at Binghamton

No 2020-071, Working Papers from Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group

Abstract: This paper presents preliminary summary results from a longitudinal study of participants in seven U.S. states during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to standard socio-economic characteristics, we collect data on various economic preference parameters: time, risk, and social preferences, and risk perception biases. We pay special attention to predictors that are both important drivers of social distancing and are potentially malleable and susceptible to policy levers. We note three important findings: (1) demographic characteristics exert the largest influence on social distancing measures and mask-wearing, (2) we show that individual risk perception and cognitive biases exert a critical role in influencing the decision to adopt social distancing measures, (3) we identify important demographic groups that are most susceptible to changing their social distancing behaviors. These findings can help inform the design of policy interventions regarding targeting specific demographic groups, which can help reduce the transmission speed of the COVID-19 virus.

Keywords: COVID-19; social distancing; masks; mask wearing; health markets; health economics; cognitive biases; exponential growth; behavioral economics (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I11 I12 I18 D81 D91 D64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ore
Note: ECI
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http://humcap.uchicago.edu/RePEc/hka/wpaper/Nikolo ... distancing-masks.pdf First version, September, 2020 (application/pdf)

Related works:
Working Paper: Predictors of Social Distancing and Mask-Wearing Behavior: Panel Survey in Seven U.S. States (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Predictors of Social Distancing and Mask-Wearing Behavior: Panel Survey in Seven U.S. States (2020) Downloads
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