We analyze how far-sightedness and risk aversion as well as the perceived trustworthiness of others correlate with COVID-19-related protective behaviors in France. We leverage individual-level data from the corona survey of the Survey of Health Aging and Retirement in Europe linked with a paper questionnaire survey about preferences conducted in France just before the coronavirus outbreak. Our results suggest that far-sightedness and risk aversion are strong predictors of individuals' protective behavior. More far-sighted individuals are more likely to not visit their family members anymore, wear a mask, and keep their distance from others when outside, wash their hands more regularly and cover their cough. Risk aversion increases the likelihood of not meeting more than 5 other people and not meeting with family members anymore. Concerning the perceived trustworthiness, we find that a higher level of trust in others reduces compliance with the recommendations about meeting with 5 or more people and family gatherings. We interpret this result as a sign that individuals with trust in others perceive a lower risk of being infected by friends and family members. Hence, they are more willing to take risks when they engage in social interactions when they perceive their relatives as trustworthy. The government should therefore consider individuals' heterogeneity in preferences and beliefs when implementing a strategy to encourage people to comply with its COVID-19 protective recommendations.

Risk, time preferences, trustworthiness and COVID-19 preventive behavior: evidence from France

Bergeot, Julien;
2023-01-01

Abstract

We analyze how far-sightedness and risk aversion as well as the perceived trustworthiness of others correlate with COVID-19-related protective behaviors in France. We leverage individual-level data from the corona survey of the Survey of Health Aging and Retirement in Europe linked with a paper questionnaire survey about preferences conducted in France just before the coronavirus outbreak. Our results suggest that far-sightedness and risk aversion are strong predictors of individuals' protective behavior. More far-sighted individuals are more likely to not visit their family members anymore, wear a mask, and keep their distance from others when outside, wash their hands more regularly and cover their cough. Risk aversion increases the likelihood of not meeting more than 5 other people and not meeting with family members anymore. Concerning the perceived trustworthiness, we find that a higher level of trust in others reduces compliance with the recommendations about meeting with 5 or more people and family gatherings. We interpret this result as a sign that individuals with trust in others perceive a lower risk of being infected by friends and family members. Hence, they are more willing to take risks when they engage in social interactions when they perceive their relatives as trustworthy. The government should therefore consider individuals' heterogeneity in preferences and beliefs when implementing a strategy to encourage people to comply with its COVID-19 protective recommendations.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/5024041
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