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via Rising Thermals / Flickr

Governments all around the world are trying to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Making it mandatory for people to wear face masks is a policy that has gained favor among many national governments and state authorities in the United States.

Yet any policy that attempts to modify people's behavior – in this case, making mask-wearing a new norm – needs to take into account undesired behavioral adjustments that the policy may bring about.

As behavioral economists, we know that without such consideration, the policy is bound to be less efficient than expected.

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