Two Solitudes or All in the Same Boat? Citizens’ Levels of Compliance with COVID-19 Preventive Measures in Quebec and the Rest of Canada

26 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2020

See all articles by Jean-François Daoust

Jean-François Daoust

University of Edinburgh

Eric Belanger

McGill University

Ruth Dassonneville

University of Montreal - Department of Political Science

Erick Lachapelle

University of Montreal

Richard Nadeau

University of Montreal - Department of Political Science

Date Written: December 4, 2020

Abstract

In Canada, the province of Quebec has been disproportionally affected by COVID-19 both in terms of cases and deaths. Why is that so? Some have speculated that Quebecers are less disciplined and less likely to comply with public health preventive measures. However, there has been no systematic empirical test of this hypothesis. In this paper, we use the Imperial College London and YouGov dataset that includes 12,280 observations from Canadians surveyed across seven months (April to October 2020) to test whether Quebecers comply less with preventive measures than other Canadians. Our results show that the differences between Quebec and the rest of Canada are few. Moreover, when there is a gap, the differences are modest. That is, there is no systematic nor substantial difference between Quebec and the rest of Canada in terms of citizens’ level of compliance with preventive measures. These findings have important implications. While it is crucial that we understand why Quebec has been hit so hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, it should be clear that this is not due to different levels of compliance with preventive measures in Quebec.

Keywords: COVID-19; Pandemic; Preventive Measures; Compliance; Canada; Quebec

JEL Classification: I1; I12; I18; R5

Suggested Citation

Daoust, Jean-François and Belanger, Eric and Dassonneville, Ruth and Lachapelle, Erick and Nadeau, Richard, Two Solitudes or All in the Same Boat? Citizens’ Levels of Compliance with COVID-19 Preventive Measures in Quebec and the Rest of Canada (December 4, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3742920 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3742920

Jean-François Daoust (Contact Author)

University of Edinburgh ( email )

Old College
South Bridge
Edinburgh, Scotland EH8 9JY
United Kingdom

Eric Belanger

McGill University

Ruth Dassonneville

University of Montreal - Department of Political Science

Pavillon Lionel-Groulx
3150, rue Jean-Brillant
Montréal, Québec H3T 1N8
Canada

Erick Lachapelle

University of Montreal ( email )

C.P. 6128 succursale Centre-ville
Montreal, Quebec H3C 3J7
Canada

Richard Nadeau

University of Montreal - Department of Political Science

Pavillon Lionel-Groulx
3150, rue Jean-Brillant
Montréal, Québec H3T 1N8
Canada

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