Local Norms, Political Partisanship, and Pandemic Response: Evidence from the United States

Keena Lipsitz, Grigore Pop-Eleches, Graeme B. Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A growing literature focuses on the role of political partisanship in shaping attitudes and behaviors during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. We provide a different perspective, by developing a theory of how partisanship interacts with another important factor that shapes how people think and behave in the context of the pandemic—local norms. Using a combination of survey data and a survey experiment, we demonstrate the importance of norms in shaping both support for social distancing and reported social-distancing behavior, particularly amongst independents and Republicans. We then confirm that perceptions of norms are indeed tied to what is actually happening around people—that their partisanship does not blind them to reality. Our analysis is the first to examine how partisanship and norms interact with each other and helps to explain why partisan differences matter more in some places than in others.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)247-262
Number of pages16
JournalPerspectives on Politics
Volume22
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 21 2024
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Political Science and International Relations

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