Unmasking Partisanship: Polarization Undermines Public Response to Collective Risk

31 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2020 Last revised: 16 Oct 2021

See all articles by Maria Milosh

Maria Milosh

University of Chicago - Becker Friedman Institute for Economics

Marcus Painter

Saint Louis University - Department of Finance

Konstantin Sonin

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy; Higher School of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

David Van Dijcke

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Austin L. Wright

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 9, 2020

Abstract

Political polarization may undermine public policy response to collective risk, especially in periods of crisis when political actors have incentives to manipulate public perceptions. We study these dynamics in the U.S., focusing on how partisanship has influenced the use of face masks to stem the spread of COVID-19. Using a variety of approaches, we find partisanship is the single most important predictor of mask use and local policy interventions do not offset this relationship.

Keywords: partisanship, polarization, COVID-19

JEL Classification: H12, I18

Suggested Citation

Milosh, Maria and Painter, Marcus and Sonin, Konstantin and Van Dijcke, David and Wright, Austin L., Unmasking Partisanship: Polarization Undermines Public Response to Collective Risk (November 9, 2020). University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics Working Paper No. 2020-102, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3664779 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3664779

Maria Milosh

University of Chicago - Becker Friedman Institute for Economics ( email )

Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Marcus Painter

Saint Louis University - Department of Finance ( email )

Saint Louis, MO
United States

Konstantin Sonin

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

Higher School of Economics ( email )

20 Myasnitskaya street
Moscow, 119017
Russia

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

David Van Dijcke

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor ( email )

2350 Hayward Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States

Austin L. Wright (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

1307 E 60th St
Chicago, IL IL 60637
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.austinlwright.com

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