Compliance in the 1.5 Meter Society: Longitudinal Analysis of Citizens’ Adherence to COVID-19 Mitigation Measures in a Representative Sample in the Netherlands
General Subserie Research Paper No. 2020-12
38 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2020 Last revised: 17 Dec 2020
Date Written: June 11, 2020
In the month of May, the Netherlands moved out of the “intelligent lockdown”, and into the “1.5 meter society”, which aims to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic by means of safe-distance measures. This paper assesses how Dutch citizens have complied with these social distancing measures. It analyses data from two surveys conducted in May (between 8-14 and between 22-26) among nationally representative samples (N = 984 and N = 1021). We find that a combination of factors explains social distancing compliance. On the one hand we see that people are more likely to comply if they have an intrinsic motivation to do so, when they have the capacity to comply, when they have good impulse control, when they think compliance is normal, and when they see a general duty to obey rules generally. The paper also assesses how compliance has changed over time, assessing changes in May as well as how these are different from compliance with lockdown measures in April. During this period, there has been a gradual decline in compliance that coincides with a decline in intrinsic motivations and capacity for compliance, and there has been an increase in opportunities to violate the measures. The paper assesses what these changes may mean for current and future success of COVID-19 mitigation measures.
Keywords: COVID-19, compliance, social distancing, mitigation, Netherlands
JEL Classification: I12, I18, K32, k42
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation