Analyzing Risk Perception and Social Influence Effects on Self-Restriction Behavior in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Japan: First Results

30 Pages Posted: 4 Jun 2020 Last revised: 15 Jun 2020

See all articles by Giancarlos Parady

Giancarlos Parady

The University of Tokyo

Ayako Taniguchi

University of Tsukuba

Kiyoshi Takami

The University of Tokyo

Date Written: June 4, 2020

Abstract

This article analyzes factors affecting individuals’ decisions to alter their behavior in light of the COVID-19 pandemic in the context of non-binding self-restriction requests in Japan. In particular, this study focuses on risk perception and social influence effects. A panel web-survey was conducted targeting residents of the Kanto Region, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Area. In addition to describing the observed patterns in behavioral change, we modeled behavioral changes of four key, non-work-related activities: (i) grocery shopping, (ii) other types of shopping, (iii) eating out, and (iv) leisure. For eating-out and leisure the distinction was made between going alone or in groups. Based on the observed distributions of these activities, regression models of going-out-behavior were estimated for shopping, while for eating-out and leisure, which showed considerably smaller frequencies, a discrete choice approach was used. Findings showed that as a measure of social influence, the perception of going-out self-restriction by others was consistently associated with reductions in activity levels across all activity types. In addition, dread of COVID-19 was also found to affect behavior, but its effect was only significant for discretionary activities such as eating-out and leisure. In light of these findings, information campaigns to promote stay-at-home behavior might be more effective if they appeal to the group, rather than the individual, and emphasize the behavior, or at least the perception of behavior of others.

Keywords: COVID-19, self-restriction, social influence, risk perception, travel behavior

JEL Classification: R41

Suggested Citation

Parady, Giancarlos and Taniguchi, Ayako and Takami, Kiyoshi, Analyzing Risk Perception and Social Influence Effects on Self-Restriction Behavior in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Japan: First Results (June 4, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3618769 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3618769

Giancarlos Parady (Contact Author)

The University of Tokyo ( email )

Japan

HOME PAGE: http://ut.t.u-tokyo.ac.jp

Ayako Taniguchi

University of Tsukuba ( email )

Tsukuba University , Ibaraki Ken
Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8573, Ibaraki 3050006
Japan

Kiyoshi Takami

The University of Tokyo ( email )

7-3-1 Hongo
Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8656
Japan

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