Asocial Capital: Civic Culture and Social Distancing during COVID-19

30 Pages Posted: 28 May 2020

See all articles by Ruben Durante

Ruben Durante

Catalan Institution of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA); Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Department of Economics and Business, Students

Luigi Guiso

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF)

Giorgio Gulino

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Department of Economics and Business, Students

Date Written: May 27, 2020

Abstract

Social distancing can slow the spread of COVID-19 if citizens comply with it and internalize the cost of their mobility on others. We study how civic values mediate this process using data on mobility across Italian provinces between January and May 2020. We find robust evidence that after the virus outbreak mobility declined, but significantly more in areas with higher civic capital, both before and after a mandatory national lockdown. Simulating a SIR model calibrated on Italy, we estimate that if all provinces had the same civic capital as those in top-quartile, COVID-related deaths would have been ten times lower.

Keywords: Civic capital, Culture, Externalities, Social distancing, COVID-19

JEL Classification: Z1, D91

Suggested Citation

Durante, Ruben and Guiso, Luigi and Gulino, Giorgio, Asocial Capital: Civic Culture and Social Distancing during COVID-19 (May 27, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3611606 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3611606

Ruben Durante (Contact Author)

Catalan Institution of Research and Advanced Studies (ICREA) ( email )

P/ Lluis Companys 23
Barcelona, 08010
Spain

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Department of Economics and Business, Students ( email )

Barcelona
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://www.rubendurante.net

Luigi Guiso

Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF) ( email )

Via Sallustiana 62
Rome, 00187
Italy
+39 06 4792 4858 (Phone)
+39 06 4792 4872 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.eief.it/faculty-visitors/faculty-a-z/luigi-guiso/

Giorgio Gulino

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Department of Economics and Business, Students ( email )

Barcelona
Spain

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