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ECONOMIC AND BEHAVIORAL FACTORS IN AN INDIVIDUALfS DECISION TO TAKE THE INFLUENZA VACCINATION IN JAPAN

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Author Info

  • Yoshiro Tsusui

    ()
    (Graduate School of Economics, Osaka University, Japan; CREED, FEB, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands)

  • Uri Benzion

    (Department of Economics, Ben Gurion University; Interdisciplinary Department of Social Sciences, Western Galilee College, Israel)

  • Shosh Shahrabani

    (Economics and Management Department, Max Stern Academic College of Emek Yezreel, Israel)

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate what people in Japan consider when deciding to take the influenza vaccination. We develop an economic model to explain the mechanism by which people decide to take the influenza vaccination. Using our model and the data obtained from a large-scale survey we conducted in Japan, we demonstrated that people make rational decisions about vaccinations after considering its cost and benefits. People consider the probability of infection, severity of the disease, and the vaccinationfs effectiveness and side effects. The time discount rate is another consideration because the timing of costs and benefits of the vaccination differ. Risk aversion (fearing the contraction of the flu and vaccinationfs side effects) also affects the decision. People also deviate from rationality-altruism and status quo bias play important roles in the decision-making. Overconfidence indirectly affects the decision via perception variables such as the subjective probability of infection and assessment of influenzafs severity. The decision also depends on attributes such as gender, age, and marital status. If the general perception of flu and vaccination is inaccurate, supplying accurate information regarding those may increase or decrease the vaccination rate, depending on whether this perception is, respectively, higher or lower than the objective rates. Thus, we examine whether the general perception is biased. Our survey suggests that disseminating information on the vaccinationfs effectiveness may increase the rate of vaccination, whereas that on the probability of infection may have the opposite effect.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics and Osaka School of International Public Policy (OSIPP) in its series Discussion Papers in Economics and Business with number 10-23-Rev.

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Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision: Feb 2011
Handle: RePEc:osk:wpaper:1023r

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Web page: http://www.econ.osaka-u.ac.jp/
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Keywords: influenza; inoculation; survey; time preference; Japan;

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  1. Barsky, Robert B, et al, 1997. "Preference Parameters and Behavioral Heterogeneity: An Experimental Approach in the Health and Retirement Study," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(2), pages 537-79, May.
  2. John Mullahy, 1998. "It'll Only Hurt a Second? Microeconomic Determinants of Who Gets Flu Shots," NBER Working Papers 6500, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Brito, Dagobert L. & Sheshinski, Eytan & Intriligator, Michael D., 1991. "Externalities and compulsary vaccinations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 69-90, June.
  4. Tsutsui, Yoshiro & Benzion, Uri & Shahrabani, Shosh & Din, Gregory Yom, 2010. "A policy to promote influenza vaccination: A behavioral economic approach," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 97(2-3), pages 238-249, October.
  5. Shosh Shahrabani & Uri Benzion & Gregory Yom Din, 2009. "Factors affecting nurses’ decision to get the flu vaccine," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 227-231, May.
  6. Knetsch, Jack L & Sinden, J A, 1984. "Willingness to Pay and Compensation Demanded: Experimental Evidence of an Unexpected Disparity in Measures of Value," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 99(3), pages 507-21, August.
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