Unmasking Partisanship: Polarization Undermines Public Response to Collective Risk
31 Pages Posted: 3 Aug 2020 Last revised: 16 Oct 2021
Date Written: November 9, 2020
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: Suggested Citation