Civil Liberties in the Time of Health and Economic Crises

Just Tech Covid-19 Rapid-Response Grant – Summer 2020

Abstract

As the United States and the rest of the world confront the global health threat of Covid-19, how do citizens view the fundamental trade-offs between health, liberty, and economic well-being? As these tradeoffs become particularly salient during a pandemic, what are citizens willing to sacrifice and what are they steadfast in supporting no matter what the circumstance? How does this vary across countries and geographies within countries and what is unique about preferences of citizens of the United States? Finally, what factors may shape these preferences? To answer these questions, we will launch a large scale, representative cross-country survey at various phases of the Covid-19 pandemic. The survey is designed with a heavier sampling focus on the United States, while also covering Italy, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, South Korea, and China. This survey precisely measures citizens’ preferences over public health policies, civil liberties, and economic outcomes, as well as their evolution over time. Moreover, the survey allows us to leverage both quasi-experimental and experimental variations to understand factors that shape citizens’ preferences.

Research Team

Principal Investigator

David Yang

Prize Fellow in History, Economics and Politics, National Bureau of Economic Research

  • Bio ▾

    David Yang is an assistant professor of economics. His research focuses on political economy, behavioral and experimental economics, economic history, and cultural economics. In particular, Yang studies the forces of stability and forces of changes in authoritarian regimes, drawing lessons from historical and contemporary China. Yang received a BA in statistics and BS in business administration from the University of California at Berkeley and a PhD in economics from Stanford University.

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