NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
loading...

Social Interactions in Pandemics: Fear, Altruism, and Reciprocity

Laura Alfaro, Ester Faia, Nora Lamersdorf, Farzad Saidi

NBER Working Paper No. 27134
Issued in May 2020, Revised in August 2020
NBER Program(s):Economic Fluctuations and Growth, Health Economics, International Finance and Macroeconomics

In SIR models, infection rates are typically exogenous, whereas individuals adjust their behavior in reality. City-level data across the globe suggest that mobility falls in response to fear, proxied by Google searches. Incorporating experimentally validated measures of social preferences at the regional level, we find that stringency measures (conversely their lifting) matter less when individuals are more patient and altruistic, or exhibit less negative reciprocity. To account for these findings, we extend homogeneous and networked SIR models so as to endogenize agents' social-activity intensity. We derive the social planner's problem and draw implications on the optimality of targeted lockdown policies.

download in pdf format
   (688 K)

email paper

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w27134

 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
NBER Videos
Themes
Data
People
About

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us