Coordination, Common Knowledge and an H1N1 Outbreak

We experimentally measure the ability of subjects to coordinate on issues related to the H1N1 inuenza virus before and after an outbreak. Our instrument consists of an H1N1 survey converted into a coordination game. We show that the degree of coordination on beliefs about (1) H1N1 prevention, (2) H1N1 vaccine side effects, and (3) actions to take if sick all increase after the outbreak. More generally we provide the first test of coordination on meaningful strategy labels in response to a naturally occurring field coordination device. Our results provide a unique insight into the responses of beliefs to a major health event.
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