Does Information Reduce COVID-19 Related Stigmatization
40 Pages Posted: 9 Feb 2021
Date Written: February 7, 2021
There are widespread concerns that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic leads to negative attitudes or even stigmatization, especially towards peoples and products from the epicenters. We study the effects of information treatments on partially mitigating the negative impacts such as stigmatization on demand using a survey experiment. Using two randomly assigned information treatments (reason and emotion) targeting Hubei (the COVID-19 epicenter in China) products, we document that the respondents are more likely to choose a similar non-Hubei option at the same price and require a substantial amount of compensation to switch to the Hubei option. More importantly, the results show that both treatments effectively decrease the quantified negative impacts of COVID-19 on the demand, with the reason treatment reducing the compensation amount for the higher stake choice by 19.3% and the emotion treatment reducing the compensation amount for the lower stake choice by 17%, respectively.
Keywords: COVID-19, Epidemic, Stigmatization, Information Treatment
JEL Classification: C93, D91, I15, I18
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