Emily Breza Discusses Social Media Messaging from Health Professionals and Post-Christmas COVID Cases
Improving public compliance with mask mandates and other public health rules, and encouraging voluntary preventative health behaviors, are important ways of slowing transmission of the COVID-19 virus. In late 2020, doctors and nurses in 13 states participated in a randomized clinical trial in which residents of treatment counties received videos discouraging holiday travel. Residents in control counties did not receive such messages. NBER Research Associates Emily Breza and Marcella Alsan of Harvard University, Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Ben Olken of MIT, Arun Chandrasekhar of Stanford University, and 16 co-authors study this experiment in a recent paper (29021). They find that the social media messages significantly reduced post-holiday COVID-19 infection rates. Breza summarizes their findings in the video above. An archive of NBER videos on pandemic-related research may be found here.