Research Fellow Dr. Armando N. Meier forscht zu prosozialem Verhalten in der COVID-19 Pandemie

Neueste Beiträge von Dr. Armando N. Meier, Research Fellow Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät, Universität Basel und Senior Research Fellow Université de Lausanne.

Prosociality Predicts Health Behaviors During the COVID-19 Pandemic 
Journal of Public Economics 195, 2021.
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Pol Campos-Mercade, Armando N. Meier, Florian H. Schneider and Erik Wengström

Socially responsible behavior is crucial for slowing the spread of infectious diseases. However, economic and epidemiological models of disease transmission abstract from prosocial motivations as a driver of behaviors that impact the health of others. In an incentivized study, we show that a large majority of people are very reluctant to put others at risk for their personal benefit. Moreover, this experimental measure of prosociality predicts health behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic, measured in a separate and ostensibly unrelated study with the same people. Prosocial individuals are more likely to follow physical distancing guidelines, stay home when sick, and buy face masks. We also find that prosociality measured two years before the pandemic predicts health behaviors during the pandemic. Our findings indicate that prosociality is a stable, long-term predictor of policy-relevant behaviors, suggesting that the impact of policies on a population may depend on the degree of prosociality.

Anticipation of COVID-19 Vaccines Reduces Social Distancing
IFN Working Paper No. 1378, 2021
Andersson, Ola and Campos-Mercade, Pol and Meier, Armando and Wengström, Erik

We show that the anticipation of COVID-19 vaccines reduces voluntary social distancing. In a large-scale preregistered survey experiment with a representative sample, we study whether providing information about the safety, effectiveness, and availability of COVID- 19 vaccines affects compliance with public health guidelines. We find that vaccine information reduces peoples’ voluntary social distancing, adherence to hygiene guidelines, and their willingness to stay at home. Vaccine information induces people to believe in a swifter return to normal life and puts their vigilance at ease. The results indicate an important behavioral drawback of the successful vaccine development: An increased focus on vaccines can lead to bad health behaviors and accelerate the spread of the virus. The results imply that, as vaccinations start and the end of the pandemic feels closer, existing policies aimed at increasing social distancing will be less effective and stricter policies might be required.