Mitigating COVID-19 in a Nationally Representative UK Sample: Personal Abilities and Obligation to Obey the Law Shape Compliance with Mitigation Measures

Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2020-19

General Subserie Research Paper No. 2020-01

37 Pages Posted: 13 May 2020 Last revised: 27 May 2020

See all articles by Emmeke Barbara Kooistra

Emmeke Barbara Kooistra

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Chris Reinders Folmer

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Malouke Esra Kuiper

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Elke Olthuis

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Megan Brownlee

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 11, 2020

Abstract

The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly influenced daily life all over the world. The present study assesses what factors influenced inhabitants of the United Kingdom to comply with lockdown and social distancing measures. It analyses data from an online survey, conducted on April 6-8, 2020, amongst a nationally representative sample of 555 participants who currently reside in the UK. The results show that compliance depended mostly on people’s capacity to comply with the rules, and the normative obligation they feel to obey the law. As such, compliance was not associated with deterrence or obedience out of fear, but rather with people’s practical abilities and intrinsic motivation to comply. The paper discusses policy implications for effective mitigation of the virus.

Keywords: COVID-19, compliance, lockdown, social distancing, deterrence, opportunity, public health

JEL Classification: I12, K42

Suggested Citation

Kooistra, Emmeke Barbara and Reinders Folmer, Chris and Kuiper, Malouke Esra and Olthuis, Elke and Brownlee, Megan and Fine, Adam and van Rooij, Benjamin, Mitigating COVID-19 in a Nationally Representative UK Sample: Personal Abilities and Obligation to Obey the Law Shape Compliance with Mitigation Measures (May 11, 2020). Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2020-19, General Subserie Research Paper No. 2020-01, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3598221 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3598221

Emmeke Barbara Kooistra

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

Malouke Esra Kuiper

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

Adam Fine

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

411 N. Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85004
United States

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

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