Using social and behavioural science to support COVID-19 pandemic response

Valerio Capraro (Middlesex)

The COVID-19 pandemic represents one of the greatest public health crises of the last century, affecting more than 20 million people from over 200 countries around the world. Until a vaccine or effective medical treatment is developed, the public response to the pandemic is largely limited to policy-making and collective behaviour change. In this regard, techniques from social and behavioural science can be useful to promote pandemic response and mitigate COVID-19 transmission (Van Bavel et al. 2020a). In this talk, I will review some recent research devoted to exploring what kind of messages and appeals are more effective at promoting pandemic response. I will focus on the effect of norm-based messages (Bilancini et al. 2020), on messages highlighting that the coronavirus is a threat to people’s community (Capraro & Barcelo, 2020a), and on messages promoting intuitive vs deliberative decision making (Capraro & Barcelo, 2020b). I will also talk about gender differences (Capraro & Barcelo, 2020a) and the effect of nationalism (Van Bavel et al. 2020b).

Loyola Workshop on Economic Behavior 2020


  • Luis Amador, LoyolaBehLAB-Córdoba
  • Laura Padilla, LoyolaBehLAB-Sevilla


Excelencia–Junta Andalucía (PY18-FR-0007)
MINECO FEDER (PGC2018-093506-B-I00)



Room C2.02 March 5th, 2020

15:30 – 16:30 José Apesteguía
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
Random models for the joint treatment of risk and time preferences.

17:00 – 17:20 Coralio Ballester
Universidad de Alicante
Inferring beliefs from choices: A level-k approach.

17:20 – 17:40 Benjamin Prisse
Universidad Loyola Andalucía
Eliciting time preferences with continuous MPL.

17:40 – 18:00 Ricardo Ciacci
Universidad Pontificia de Comillas
On the economic determinants of prostitution: the marriage compensation and unilateral divorce in
U.S. States.

18:00 – 18:20 Diego Jorrat
Universidad Loyola Andalucía
To pay or not to pay: Measuring risk preferences in lab and field.

18:20 – 18:40 Natalia Jiménez
Universidad Pablo de Olavide
Why do the poor vote for low tax rates? A (real-effort task) experiment on income

19:00 – 20:00 Adam Sanjurjo
Universidad de Alicante
The role of memory in search and choice.


Room C2.02 March 6th, 2020

10:00 – 11:00 Dunia López Pintado
Universidad Pablo de Olavide
Far above others.

11:30 – 11:50 Noelia Rivera
Universidad Loyola Andalucía
Overall, in-group and out-group overplacement in known and unknown tasks: No gender

11:50 – 12:10 Brais Álvarez
Universidad Loyola Andalucía
Group size and the use of skills diversity in production.

12:10 – 12:30 Laura Padilla
Universidad Loyola Andalucía
Boosting university students’ entrepreneurial intentions: key teaching models and academic
interdisciplinary activities.

12:30 – 12:50 Ma del Pino Ramos
Universidad Loyola Andalucía
Looking at creativity from East to West: Risk taking and intrinsic motivation in socially and
culturally diverse countries.

13:00 – 14:00 Antonio Cabrales
University College London
Institutions and opportunism, some experimental evidence.

Higher Orders of Rationality and the Structure of Games

Pedro Rey Biel

Identifying individual levels of rationality is crucial to modeling strategic interaction and understanding behavior in games. Nevertheless, there is no consensus on how to best identify levels of higher order rationality, and the identification of an empirical distribution remains highly elusive. In particular, the games used for the task can have a huge impact on the identified distribution. To tackle this fundamental problem, this paper introduces an axiomatic approach that singles out a simple class of games that minimizes the probability of misidentification errors. It then shows that the axioms are empirically meaningful in a within subject experiment that compares the distribution of orders of rationality across different games, including standard games from the literature. The games singled out by the axioms exhibit the highest correlation both with the distribution of the most frequent rationality level a subject has been classified with and with an independent measure of cognitive ability. Finally, there is no evidence in our sample of within subject consistency of identified rationality levels across games.