Government Policies, National Culture and Social Distancing during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic: International Evidence

The authors assess the impact of national culture and government policies on social distancing to fight COVID-19 across major economies during the first wave of the pandemic. To do so, the authors regress government stringency index from Oxford COVID-19 government response tracker together with Hofstede’s national culture scores on social distancing data from Google mobility reports. The authors find that government stringency has a far larger impact on social distancing than national culture. Social distancing increases with government stringency. The authors find two cultural dimensions matter: social distancing decreases with ‘Long-term Orientation’; the opposite is true for ‘Indulgence’. The results convey that policymakers must act decisively rather than blaming the culture.


  • English

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  • Accession Number: 01764610
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 31 2020 3:38PM