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. 2020 Jun;18(3):345-350.
doi: 10.1007/s40258-020-00595-4.

Using Insights From Behavioral Economics to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19

Free PMC article

Using Insights From Behavioral Economics to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19

Moslem Soofi et al. Appl Health Econ Health Policy. .
Free PMC article


The outbreak of 2019 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has become a public health emergency of international concern. The number of COVID-infected individuals and related deaths continues to rise rapidly. Encouraging people to adopt and sustain preventive behaviors is a central focus of public health policies that seek to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Public health policy needs improved methods to encourage people to adhere to COVID-19-preventive behaviors. In this paper, we introduce a number of insights from behavioral economics that help explain why people may behave irrationally during the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, present bias, status quo bias, framing effect, optimism bias, affect heuristic, and herding behavior are discussed. We hope this paper will shed light on how insights from behavioral economics can enrich public health policies and interventions in the fight against COVID-19.

Conflict of interest statement

Moslem Soofi, Farid Najafi, and Behzad Karami-Matin have no conflicts of interest that are directly relevant to the content of this article.

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