The Intelligent Lockdown: Compliance with COVID-19 Mitigation Measures in the Netherlands

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2020-20

General Subserie Research Paper No. 2020-02

38 Pages Posted: 13 May 2020 Last revised: 3 Sep 2020

See all articles by Malouke Esra Kuiper

Malouke Esra Kuiper

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

Elke Olthuis

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Megan Brownlee

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Emmeke Barbara Kooistra

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Adam Fine

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

Benjamin van Rooij

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

Date Written: May 6, 2020

Abstract

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Dutch government has introduced an “intelligent lockdown” with stay at home and social distancing measures. The Dutch approach to mitigate the virus focuses less on repression and more on moral appeals and self-discipline. This study assessed how compliance with the measures have worked out in practice and what factors might affect whether Dutch people comply with the measures. We analyzed data from an online survey, conducted between April 7-14, among 568 participants. The overall results showed reported compliance was high. This suggests that the Dutch approach has to some extent worked as hoped in practice. Repression did not play a significant role in compliance, while intrinsic (moral and social) motivations did produce better compliance. Yet appeals on self-discipline did not work for everyone, and people with lower impulse control were more likely to violate the rules. In addition, compliance was lower for people who lacked the practical capacity to follow the measures and for those who have the opportunity to break the measures. Sustained compliance, therefore, relies on support to aid people to maintain social distancing and restrictions to reduce opportunities for unsafe gatherings. These findings suggest several important practical recommendations for combating the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

JEL Classification: I12, k42

Suggested Citation

Kuiper, Malouke Esra and de Bruijn, Anne Leonore and Reinders Folmer, Chris and Olthuis, Elke and Brownlee, Megan and Kooistra, Emmeke Barbara and Fine, Adam and van Rooij, Benjamin, The Intelligent Lockdown: Compliance with COVID-19 Mitigation Measures in the Netherlands (May 6, 2020). Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2020-20, General Subserie Research Paper No. 2020-02, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3598215 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3598215

Malouke Esra Kuiper (Contact Author)

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

Elke Olthuis

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

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

Megan Brownlee

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

Adam Fine

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

411 N. Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85004
United States

Benjamin Van Rooij

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

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