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

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

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Abstract

Social stigma can effectively prevent people from going out and possibly spreading COVID-19. Using the framework of replicator dynamics, this study analyzes the interaction between self-restraint behavior, infection with viruses such as COVID-19, and stigma against going out. We show that a non-legally binding policy reduces the number of people going out in the steady state. Our comparative static analysis suggests that intensifying the stigma cost does not necessarily reduce the number of players going out because of an indirect effect of from a 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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