Maintaining Compliance when the Virus Returns: Understanding Adherence to COVID-19 Social Distancing Measures in the Netherlands in July 2020

35 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2020 Last revised: 4 Sep 2020

See all articles by Chris Reinders Folmer

Chris Reinders Folmer

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Malouke Esra Kuiper

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Elke Olthuis

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Emmeke Barbara Kooistra

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Anne Leonore de Bruijn

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Megan Brownlee

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Adam Fine

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Criminology & Criminal Justice

Benjamin van Rooij

University of California, Irvine School of Law; University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law

Date Written: August 28, 2020

Abstract

After its relative lenient, “intelligent lockdown” approach to the COVID-19 coronavirus, the Netherlands has continued its singular trajectory in combating the pandemic. The month of July introduced further relaxations to prior mitigation measures, but also saw a resurgence of infections. This working paper examines how these developments are reflected in Dutch citizens’ compliance with safe-distance measures during this period. Building on our previous surveys during the months of May and June, we report the findings of two additional survey waves collected in early (7-10) and late (21-23) July among nationally representative samples (N = 1064 and N = 1023, respectively). The results show that the decline in compliance that was observed from May to June seems to have halted. At the same time, important predictors of compliance – such as citizens’ capacity to comply, perceptions of the threat of the virus, and support for mitigation measures – have ceased to decrease, or are increasing. Taken together, these findings suggest that Dutch citizens’ compliance with mitigation measures may be on the rise again. However, our findings also suggest that social norms for compliance continue to be eroding, which may continue to dampen citizens’ tendency to comply.

Keywords: COVID-19, compliance, deterrence, social norms, public health, health communication

JEL Classification: I12, I18, K32, k42

Suggested Citation

Reinders Folmer, Chris and Kuiper, Malouke Esra and Olthuis, Elke and Kooistra, Emmeke Barbara and de Bruijn, Anne Leonore and Brownlee, Megan and Fine, Adam and van Rooij, Benjamin, Maintaining Compliance when the Virus Returns: Understanding Adherence to COVID-19 Social Distancing Measures in the Netherlands in July 2020 (August 28, 2020). Amsterdam Law School Research Paper No. 2020-53, General Subserie Research Paper No. 2020-14, UC Irvine School of Law Research Paper No. 2020-60, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3682546 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3682546

Chris Reinders Folmer (Contact Author)

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Malouke Esra Kuiper

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Elke Olthuis

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Postbus 15654
1001 ND
Amsterdam, Noord-Holland 1001 ND
Netherlands

Emmeke Barbara Kooistra

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Anne Leonore De Bruijn

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Megan Brownlee

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

Adam Fine

Arizona State University (ASU) - School of Criminology & Criminal Justice ( email )

411 N. Central Avenue
Phoenix, AZ 85004
United States

Benjamin Van Rooij

University of California, Irvine School of Law ( email )

401 E. Peltason Dr.
Ste. 1000
Irvine, CA 92697-1000
United States

University of Amsterdam - Faculty of Law ( email )

Amsterdam, 1018 WB
Netherlands

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