Perceived Social Norm and Behavior Quickly Adjusted to Legal Changes During the COVID-19 Pandemic

41 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2020

See all articles by Fortuna Casoria

Fortuna Casoria

Groupe d'Analyse et de Theorie Economique (GATE), CNRS, University of Lyon

Fabio Galeotti

GATE, CNRS

Marie Claire Villeval

Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), CNRS; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Global Labor Organization (GLO)

Date Written: August 26, 2020

Abstract

In response to the pandemic of COVID-19 and in lack of pharmaceutical solutions, many countries have introduced social and physical distancing regulations to contain the transmission of the virus. These measures are effective insofar as they are able to quickly change people’s habits. This is achieved by changing the monetary incentives of rule violators but also by shifting people’s perception regarding the appropriateness of socialization. We studied the effect of introducing, and then lifting, distancing regulations on the perceived norm regarding social encounters. We conducted an online incentivized experiment in France where we elicited the same participants’ perceived norm and social distancing behavior every week for three months. We found that people shifted behavior and norm perception as soon as the government introduced or removed distancing measures. This effect was fast acting and long lasting. This is informative for future interventions, especially in light of a possible COVID-19 recurrence.

Keywords: COVID-19, Social Distancing, Social Norms, Laws

JEL Classification: C9, D02, D91, H12, I12, I18

Suggested Citation

Casoria, Fortuna and Galeotti, Fabio and Villeval, Marie Claire, Perceived Social Norm and Behavior Quickly Adjusted to Legal Changes During the COVID-19 Pandemic (August 26, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3681204 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3681204

Fortuna Casoria

Groupe d'Analyse et de Theorie Economique (GATE), CNRS, University of Lyon ( email )

93 Chemin des Mouilles
Ecully, 69130
France

HOME PAGE: http://fortunacasoria.weebly.com

Fabio Galeotti

GATE, CNRS ( email )

93, chemin des Mouilles
Ecully, 69130
France

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.gate.cnrs.fr/spip.php?article795

Marie Claire Villeval (Contact Author)

Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique (GATE), CNRS ( email )

93, chemin des Mouilles
Ecully, 69130
France
+33 472 86 60 79 (Phone)
+33 472 86 60 90 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.gate.cnrs.fr/equipe/perso/villeval/villeval.html

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Global Labor Organization (GLO) ( email )

Collogne
Germany

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