Compliance with COVID-19 Mitigation Measures in the United States

40 Pages Posted: 1 May 2020 Last revised: 3 Sep 2020

See all articles by Benjamin van Rooij

Benjamin van Rooij

University of California, Irvine School of Law; University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Anne Leonore de Bruijn

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Chris Reinders Folmer

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Emmeke Barbara Kooistra

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Malouke Esra Kuiper

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Megan Brownlee

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Elke Olthuis

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Adam Fine

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Criminology & Criminal Justice

Date Written: April 22, 2020

Abstract

The COVID-19 mitigation measures require a fundamental shift in human behavior. The present study assesses what factors influence Americans to comply with the stay at home and social distancing measures. It analyzes data from an online survey, conducted on April 3, 2020, of 570 participants from 35 states that have adopted such measures. The results show that while perceptual deterrence was not associated with compliance, people actually comply less when they fear the authorities. Further, two broad processes promote compliance. First, compliance depended on people’s capacity to obey the rules, opportunity to break the rules, and self-control. As such, compliance results from their own personal abilities and the context in which they live. Second, compliance depended on people’s intrinsic motivations, including substantive moral support and social norms. This paper discusses the implications of these findings for ensuring compliance to effectively mitigate the virus.

Note: Funding: The project was self-funded through my research account at UC Irvine, School of Law.

Conflict of Interest: None of the authors have any conflicts of interest with the research in this paper.

Ethical Approval: This study was exempted from IRB approval by UC Irvine using the exempt self-determination procedure.

Keywords: COVID-19, compliance, deterrence, social norms, public health, health communication

JEL Classification: I12, k42

Suggested Citation

van Rooij, Benjamin and de Bruijn, Anne Leonore and Reinders Folmer, Chris and Kooistra, Emmeke Barbara and Kuiper, Malouke Esra and Brownlee, Megan and Olthuis, Elke and Fine, Adam, Compliance with COVID-19 Mitigation Measures in the United States (April 22, 2020). Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2020-21, General Subserie Research Paper No. 2020-03, UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2020-33, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3582626 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3582626

Benjamin Van Rooij (Contact Author)

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Anne Leonore De Bruijn

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Chris Reinders Folmer

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Emmeke Barbara Kooistra

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Malouke Esra Kuiper

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Megan Brownlee

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Elke Olthuis

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Postbus 15654
1001 ND
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland 1001 ND
Netherlands

Adam Fine

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Criminology & Criminal Justice ( email )

411 N. Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85004
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
892
Abstract Views
3,462
rank
29,422
PlumX Metrics