Lives versus Livelihoods? Perceived economic risk has a stronger association with support for COVID-19 preventive measures than perceived health risk

Nisa C.F., Bélanger J.J., Faller D.G., Buttrick N.R., Mierau J.O., Austin M.M.K., Schumpe B.M., Sasin E.M., Agostini M., Gützkow B., Kreienkamp J., Abakoumkin G., Abdul Khaiyom J.H., Ahmedi V., Akkas H., Almenara C.A., Atta M., Bagci S.C., Basel S., Kida E.B., Bernardo A.B.I., Chobthamkit P., Choi H.-S., Cristea M., Csaba S., Damnjanović K., Danyliuk I., Dash A., Di Santo D., Douglas K.M., Enea V., Fitzsimons G., Gheorghiu A., Gómez Á., Grzymala-Moszczynska J., Hamaidia A., Han Q., Helmy M., Hudiyana J., Jeronimus B.F., Jiang D.-Y., Jovanović V., Kamenov Ž., Kende A., Keng S.-L., Kieu T.T.T., Koc Y., Kovyazina K., Kozytska I., Krause J., Kruglanski A.W., Kurapov A., Kutlaca M., Lantos N.A., Lemay E.P., Jr., Lesmana C.B.J., Louis W.R., Lueders A., Malik N.I., Martinez A., McCabe K.O., Mehulić J., Milla M.N., Mohammed I., Molinario E., Moyano M., Muhammad H., Mula S., Muluk H., Myroniuk S., Najafi R., Nyúl B., O’Keefe P.A., Osuna J.J.O., Osin E.N., Park J., Pica G., Pierro A., Rees J., Reitsema A.M., Resta E., Rullo M., Ryan M.K., Samekin A., Santtila P., Selim H.A., Stanton M.V., Sultana S., Sutton R.M., Tseliou E., Utsugi A., van Breen J.A., Van Lissa C.J., Van Veen K., vanDellen M.R., Vázquez A., Wollast R., Yeung V.W.-L., Zand S., Žeželj I.L., Zheng B., Zick A., Zúñiga C., Leander N.P.

Department of Psychology, New York University Abu Dhabi, PO BOX 129188, Saadiyat Island, United Arab Emirates; University of Virginia, Charlottesville, United States; University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands; University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands; University of Thessaly, Volos, Greece; International Islamic University Malaysia, Gombak, Malaysia; Pristine University, Pristine, Serbia; Ankara Science University, Ankara, Turkey; Universidad Peruana de Ciencias Aplicadas, Lima, Peru; University of Sargodha, Sargodha, Pakistan; Sabanci University, Istanbul, Turkey; De La Salle University, Manila, Philippines; Thammasat University, Pathumthani, Thailand; Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul, South Korea; Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom; Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), Budapest, Hungary; University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia; Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Kiev, Ukraine; Leuphana University Luneburg, Lüneburg, Germany; Sapienza University of Rome, Rome, Italy; University of Kent, Canterbury, United Kingdom; Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iasi, Iasi, Romania; Duke University, Durham, United States; Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED), Madrid, Spain; Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland; University Setif 2, Sétif, Algeria; University of Bristol, Bristol, United Kingdom; Menoufia University, Al Minufiyah, Egypt; Universitas Indonesia, Depok, Indonesia; National Chung-Cheng University, Chiayi, Taiwan; University of Novi Sad, Novi Sad, Serbia; University of Zagreb, Zagreb, Croatia; Yale-NUS College, Singapore, Singapore; HCMC University of Education, Ho Chi Minh City, Viet Nam; Independent Researcher, Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan; University of Maryland, College Park, United States; Durham University, Durham, United Kingdom; Udayana University, Denpasar, Indonesia; University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia; Université Clermont-Auvergne, Clermont-Ferrand, France; University of Sheffield, Sheffield, United Kingdom; Vanderbilt University, Nashville, United States; Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Sokoto, Nigeria; University of Cordoba, Córdoba, Spain; University of Peshawar, Peshawar, Pakistan; Islamic Azad University, Rasht Branch, Rasht, Iran; National Research University Higher School of Economics, Moscow, Russian Federation; NUCB Business School, Nagoya, Japan; University of Camerino, Camerino, Italy; Bielefeld University, Bielefeld, Germany; University of Siena, Siena, Italy; University of Exeter, Exeter, United Kingdom; International Islamic Academy of Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Uzbekistan; New York University Shanghai, Shanghai, China; King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; California State University, East Bay, Hayward, United States; Nagoya University, Nagoya, Japan; Leiden University, Leiden, Netherlands; Utrecht University, Utrecht, Netherlands; University of Georgia, Athens, GA, United States; Lingnan University, Tuen Mun, Hong Kong; Imperial College London, London, United Kingdom; Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile


This paper examines whether compliance with COVID-19 mitigation measures is motivated by wanting to save lives or save the economy (or both), and which implications this carries to fight the pandemic. National representative samples were collected from 24 countries (N = 25,435). The main predictors were (1) perceived risk to contract coronavirus, (2) perceived risk to suffer economic losses due to coronavirus, and (3) their interaction effect. Individual and country-level variables were added as covariates in multilevel regression models. We examined compliance with various preventive health behaviors and support for strict containment policies. Results show that perceived economic risk consistently predicted mitigation behavior and policy support—and its effects were positive. Perceived health risk had mixed effects. Only two significant interactions between health and economic risk were identified—both positive. © 2021, The Author(s).


Scientific Reports

Publisher: Nature Research

Volume 11, Issue 1, Art No 9669, Page – , Page Count

Journal Link:

doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-88314-4

Issn: 20452322

Type: All Open Access, Gold, Green


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