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Anti-social behaviour and economic decision-making: panel experimental evidence in the wake of COVID-19

Lohmann, Paul M., Gsottbauer, Elisabeth, You, Jing and Kontoleon, Andreas (2023) Anti-social behaviour and economic decision-making: panel experimental evidence in the wake of COVID-19. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 206. 136 - 171. ISSN 0167-2681

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Identification Number: 10.1016/j.jebo.2022.12.007

Abstract

We systematically examine the acute impact of exposure to a public health crisis on anti-social behaviour and economic decision-making using unique experimental panel data from China, collected just before the outbreak of COVID-19 and immediately after the first wave was overcome. Exploiting plausibly exogenous geographical variation in virus exposure coupled with a dataset of longitudinal experiments, we show that participants who were more intensely exposed to the virus outbreak became more anti-social than those with lower exposure, while other aspects of economic and social preferences remain largely stable. The finding is robust to multiple hypothesis testing and a similar, yet less pronounced pattern emerges when using alternative measures of virus exposure, reflecting societal concern and sentiment, constructed using social media data. The anti-social response is particularly pronounced for individuals who experienced an increase in depression or negative affect, which highlights the important role of psychological health as a potential mechanism through which the virus outbreak affected behaviour.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/journal/journal-of-e...
Additional Information: © 2022 Elsevier B.V.
Divisions: Grantham Research Institute
Subjects: R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: C - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods > C9 - Design of Experiments > C93 - Field Experiments
D - Microeconomics > D6 - Welfare Economics > D64 - Altruism
D - Microeconomics > D8 - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty > D81 - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
D - Microeconomics > D9 - Intertemporal Choice and Growth > D91 - Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I18 - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2023 15:45
Last Modified: 16 Jun 2024 20:03
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/117702

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