Panic Mode: The Effects of COVID19-Related Anxiety on Economic Preferences and Political Incentives

Awarded Scholars:
Pierre-Luc Vautrey, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Charlie Rafkin, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Advik Shreekumar, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Project Date:
Jun 2020
Award Amount:

How do panics affect who we are, how we make decisions, and how we plan our lives? How should politicians manage anxiety to accomplish socially desirable outcomes during crises? Panics are a fundamental part of living in a human society—but as they are unpredictable and rare, they are difficult to study empirically. Because panics can cause enormous societal changes, measuring individuals’ economic behavior and preferences during their onset is critical for academics and policymakers. In this project, the principal investigators will study how fear and anxiety affect economic preferences, behavioral biases, and political preferences using online surveys and experiments administered during the COVID-19 pandemic. The researchers aim to better understand how societies evolve with crises and to appropriately design mitigating responses.




RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal of original empirical research articles by both established and emerging scholars.


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