Determinants of Voluntary Compliance: COVID-19 Mitigation

26 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2020 Last revised: 8 Oct 2020

See all articles by Meng-Hao Li

Meng-Hao Li

George Mason University

Kingsley E. Haynes

Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University

Rajendra Kulkarni

Schar School of Policy & Government, GMU

Abu Bakkar Siddique

Goerge Mason University

Date Written: September 28, 2020

Abstract

During the pre-vaccine period, the success of containing the spread of COVID-19 depends upon how communities respond to non-pharmaceutical mitigation policies such as social distancing, wearing of masks, retail and dining constraints, crowd limitation, and shelter-in-place orders. Of these policies, shelter-in-place and social distancing are of central importance. By using county-level mobility data as a measure of a community’s voluntary compliance with social distancing policies, this study found that counties who received strong state social distancing policy directives and who had a high pro-social character showed lower mobility (better social distancing) after states reopened from shelter-in-place orders. Counties that experienced a longer duration of shelter-in-place orders showed higher mobility (less social distancing), implying that the duration of the shelter-in-place order deteriorated social distancing response after reopening. This may be because reopening sent a “safe” signal to these counties or resulted in a response to the pent-up demand inducing higher mobility. The results indicate that implementing shelter-in-place and social distancing policies to slow down the transmission of COVID-19 were not necessarily effective in motivating a county to reduce mobility voluntarily. A county’s pro-social character and the duration of shelter-in-place order should be considered when designing COVID-19 mitigation policies.

Keywords: COVID-19, Mitigation, Social Distancing, Shelter-in-Place, Pro-social Characteristics

JEL Classification: D91, H12, H41, I12

Suggested Citation

Li, Meng-Hao and Haynes, Kingsley E. and Kulkarni, Rajendra and Siddique, Abu Bakkar, Determinants of Voluntary Compliance: COVID-19 Mitigation (September 28, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3702687 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3702687

Meng-Hao Li (Contact Author)

George Mason University

Founders Hall, Fifth Floor
3351 Fairfax Drive, MS 3B1
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Kingsley E. Haynes

Schar School of Policy and Government, George Mason University ( email )

Founders Hall
3351 Fairfax Dr.
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Rajendra Kulkarni

Schar School of Policy & Government, GMU ( email )

Founders Hall
3351 Fairfax Dr.
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Abu Bakkar Siddique

Goerge Mason University ( email )

3351 Fairfax Dr.
Van Metre Hall, Room#526
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
15712745328 (Phone)

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