Face-Saving Strategies Increase Self-Reported Non-Compliance with COVID-19 Preventive Measures: Experimental Evidence from 12 Countries
27 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2020
Date Written: September 7, 2020
Studies of citizens’ compliance with COVID-19 preventive measures routinely rely on survey data. While essential, public health restrictions provide clear signals of what is socially desirable in this context, creating a potential source of response bias in self- reported measures of compliance. In this research, we examine whether the results of a face-saving-strategy that was recently proposed by Daoust et al. (2020) to loosen this constraint are generalizable across twelve countries, and whether the treatment effect varies across subgroups. Our findings show that the face-saving strategy is a very useful tool in every country included, increasing respondents’ proclivity to report non- compliance by 9 to 16 percentage points. This effect holds for different subgroups based on gender, age and education. We conclude that the inclusion of this strategy should be the new standard for survey research that aims to provide crucial data on the current pandemic.
Keywords: COVID-19, Public healt, Pandemic, Compliance, Measurement, Social desirability bias, Experimental method
JEL Classification: I12, I28, B40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation