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Should I stay or should I go (out): the role of trust and norms in disease prevention during pandemics

In this paper we construct country specific indices of mobility and trust. We use Google Covid 19 Community Mobility Reports for the former, and World Values Survey and the European Values Study for the latter. We find that the trust index has some power in explaining mobility attitudes of nations, and trust increases mobility around workplaces, groceries/pharmacies, parks, and transit stations. We then present a model where people decide whether to stay at home or go out and if they go out how much effort to spend to protect themselves from the disease which has positive externalities on others. We assume that the effort cost of protection depends on the norm in the community and show that more people can go out when either the norm increases or people put more weight on it. Interpreting the weight on the norm as a measure of trust, our theory sheds light on the empirical findings.

Lead investigator:

Toker Doganoglu


University of Wüzburg

Primary topic:

Inequality & poverty

Secondary topic:

Attitudes, media & governance

Region of data collection:


Status of data collection


Type of data being collected:

Publicly available

Unit of real-time data collection


Start date


End date




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