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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
Additional contact information
Andreas Pape: State University of New York
Ozlem Tonguc: State University of New York
Charlotte Williams: State University of New York

No 13745, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

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 D62 D64 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 43 pages
Date: 2020-09
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hea
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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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