Résilience - COVID-19 - Résilience - Coronavirus disease 2019

Resilience-after-crisis in risk, time and social preferences? A behavioral economics study with a focus on cooperativeness – RESPIRE

Submission summary

Economists identify individuals’ psychology with their “social and economic preferences” (risk attitudes, time discounting, trust, cooperativeness, altruism, etc.), which were supposed to be stable over time. However, it has been shown that exposure to background risk can impact those preferences. In particular, there is evidence that the exposure to the COVID-19 pandemic can increase anti-social behavior, and decrease trust and altruism. Therefore, a major long-term drawback of the crisis could be a deep erosion of social preferences, i.e. a degradation of trustworthiness, cooperativeness, and a rise of anti-social behaviors and social isolation, with plausible consequences on mental health.

The aim of this project is i) to measure to what extent economics and social preferences have been impacted by COVID-19 exposure, ii) to assess whether risk-exposure reduction can restore previous preferences by itself (for example thanks to vaccination), iii) to test a soft intervention, based on individuals’ enhancement of their mindfulness, to reduce the adverse effects of the COVID-19 shock on individuals’preferences.

This research project builds upon a previous online study (V1 hereafter) realized by the research-team during the first lockdown (April/May 2020), on a representative sample of the French population - allowing a lab-in-the-field data collection. It will be composed of two additional studies “V2” and “V3” using a partly renewed sample.

Risk preferences, time preferences and social preferences were measured in V1 with a complementary approach combining standardized incentivized experiments and self-reported measures, alongside with several variables measuring attitudes toward the epidemic and its consequences. The two additional surveys proposed in the present project consist in measuring, one-year (for V2) and one year and a half (for V3) after the first study: i) economic preferences with the same elicitation tools, ii) individual exposure to COVID-19 (e.g. number of contacts with infected person, COVID-19 statistics in respondents’ area), iii) health and economic behaviors during the crisis, addictive behaviors in particular. It is thanks to this system of repeated surveys in panel (V1- V2 - V3) that the project will be able to determine the evolution of economic preferences, in the face of the epidemic and in the face of the "counter-shock" of the vaccine.

At the end of V2, a soft intervention will be made. We will provide respondents scientific evidence about the benefit of a higher state of mindfulness to reduce the psychological shock caused by the crisis, and will offer them the opportunity to receive counselling on how to enhance their states of mindfulness (e.g. through meditation). We will implement a Randomized Controlled Trial, with two types of messaging to increase the likelihood of counselling acceptance, its follow-up and its effectiveness: 1) we test a feedback communication strategy on how the respondents’ reference-group was psychologically impacted and 2) we test a communication strategy on participants’ level of mindfulness compared to their reference group.

Our project falls under the following themes of the second axis “Epidemic prevention and control, and social dynamic” of the call for projects: “Evolution of sociability forms, social cohesion and collective behavior”; “Effect of the epidemic on inequalities, vulnerability and precariousness of populations”; “Short and long-term consequences of Covid-19 on mental health and psychological well-being in the different population groups”

Project coordination

Bruno VENTELOU (Bruno Ventelou)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


AMSE Bruno Ventelou

Help of the ANR 75,040 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: May 2021 - 12 Months

Useful links

Explorez notre base de projets financés



ANR makes available its datasets on funded projects, click here to find more.

Sign up for the latest news:
Subscribe to our newsletter