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Vaccination Externalities

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Author Info

  • Boulier Bryan L.

    ()
    (The George Washington University)

  • Datta Tejwant S.

    ()
    (Albert Einstein Medical Center)

  • Goldfarb Robert S

    ()
    (George Washington University)

Abstract

Vaccination provides indirect benefits to the unvaccinated. Despite its important policy implications, there is little analytical or empirical work to quantify this externality, nor is it incorporated in a number of cost-benefit studies of vaccine programs. We use a standard epidemiological model to analyze how the magnitude of this externality varies with the number of vaccinations, vaccine efficacy, and disease infectiousness. We also provide empirical estimates using parameters for influenza and mumps epidemics. The pattern of the externality is complex and striking, unlike that suggested in standard treatments. The size of the externality is not necessarily monotonic in the number vaccinated, vaccine efficacy, nor disease infectiousness. Moreover, its magnitude can be remarkably large. In particular, the marginal externality of a vaccination can be greater than one case of illness prevented among the nonvaccinated, so its omission from policy analyses implies serious biases.

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File URL: http://www.degruyter.com/view/j/bejeap.2007.7.1/bejeap.2007.7.1.1487/bejeap.2007.7.1.1487.xml?format=INT
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

Volume (Year): 7 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (May)
Pages: 1-27

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:7:y:2007:i:1:n:23

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Web page: http://www.degruyter.com

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Cited by:
  1. Andrea Galeotti & Brian W. Rogers, 2013. "Strategic Immunization and Group Structure," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 1-32, May.
  2. Donald T. Lauria & Brian Maskery & Christine Poulos & Dale Whittington, 2008. "An Optimisation Model for Use of the Vi Polysaccharide Vaccine to Prevent Typhoid in Developing Countries," Brooks World Poverty Institute Working Paper Series 1808, BWPI, The University of Manchester.
  3. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00543967 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. Telalagic, S., 2012. "Optimal Treatment of an SIS Disease with Two Strains," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1229, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  5. Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2010. "Recurrent Infection and Externalities in Prevention," CEPR Discussion Papers 8112, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2010. "Infection, Acquired Immunity and Externalities in Treatment," CEPR Discussion Papers 8111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Fenichel, Eli P., 2013. "Economic considerations for social distancing and behavioral based policies during an epidemic," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 440-451.
  8. Joseph Cook & Marc Jeuland & Brian Maskery & Donald Lauria & Dipika Sur & John Clemens & Dale Whittington, 2009. "Using private demand studies to calculate socially optimal vaccine subsidies in developing countries," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 28(1), pages 6-28.

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