Mitigating COVID-19 in a Nationally Representative UK Sample: Personal Abilities and Obligation to Obey the Law Shape Compliance with Mitigation Measures
General Subserie Research Paper No. 2020-01
37 Pages Posted: 13 May 2020 Last revised: 27 May 2020
Date Written: May 11, 2020
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: Suggested Citation