Social Distancing under Epistemic Distress
28 Pages Posted: 10 Apr 2020 Last revised: 23 Apr 2020
Date Written: April 7, 2020
Under the social distancing label, there are policies steaming from governments and policies able to be implemented individually, but mostly they require acquiescence by citizens. In this paper, the social norm about complying with social distancing originates from knowledge diffusions based on social comparison and self-evaluation mechanisms. I use the empirical footprints of the contentious Brazilian health strategy in the COVID-19 outbreak to develop an evolutionary game theory model of governmental communication interacting with experts in an epistemic democracy. This model suggests a complementary effect from governmental actions and civil society preferences that may bias studies about the management of a pandemic crisis. Policy recommendations are towards institutional designs with tighter accountability links between experts and voters.
Keywords: Epistemic Democracy, Experts, Health Economics, Positive Political Theory, Epidemiology
JEL Classification: I18, C73
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation