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COVID-19 and stigma: Evolution of self-restraint behavior

Kurita, Kenichi and Managi, Shunsuke (2020): COVID-19 and stigma: Evolution of self-restraint behavior.

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It is important to consider the social stigma against going-out people in the fight against COVID-19 because it reduces the spread of infection through individual self-restraint behavior. This study analyzes the interaction between self-restraint behavior, infection with viruses such as COVID-19, and stigma against going out by using the framework of replicator dynamics. We show that the non-legally binding policy reduces the number of people going out in the steady state. Our comparative static analysis suggests an important result, that intensifying the stigma cost does not necessarily reduce the number of players going out because of the indirect effect of decrease in infection risk. The social welfare analysis suggests that the level of population share of players going out in the interior equilibrium is larger than the socially optimal level without the state of emergency, and it is the same under the state of emergency.

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