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Vaccination Externalities

Author

Listed:
  • 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.

Suggested Citation

  • Boulier Bryan L. & Datta Tejwant S. & Goldfarb Robert S, 2007. "Vaccination Externalities," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-27, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bejeap:v:7:y:2007:i:1:n:23
    DOI: 10.2202/1935-1682.1487
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Joel Smith, "undated". "Technical Working Paper: Creation of the September 2009 Baseline of the 2005 MATH SIPP+ Microsimulation Model and Database," Mathematica Policy Research Reports c2dd86c53a2b4f979e41ac610, Mathematica Policy Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chanel, Olivier & Luchini, Stéphane & Massoni, Sébastien & Vergnaud, Jean-Christophe, 2011. "Impact of information on intentions to vaccinate in a potential epidemic: Swine-origin Influenza A (H1N1)," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 142-148, January.
    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," Global Development Institute Working Paper Series 1808, GDI, The University of Manchester.
    3. Corey White, 2021. "Measuring Social and Externality Benefits of Influenza Vaccination," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 56(3), pages 749-785.
    4. Rikard Forslid & Mathias Herzing, 2015. "On the Optimal Production Capacity for Influenza Vaccine," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(6), pages 726-741, June.
    5. 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.
    6. repec:esx:essedp:716 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Telalagic, S., 2012. "Optimal Treatment of an SIS Disease with Two Strains," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1229, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    8. Troy Tassier & Philip Polgreen & Alberto Segre, 2017. "Network position and health care worker infections," Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, Springer;Society for Economic Science with Heterogeneous Interacting Agents, vol. 12(2), pages 277-307, July.
    9. Toxvaerd, F. & Rowthorn, R., 2020. "On the Management of Population Immunity," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2080, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    10. Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2010. "Recurrent Infection and Externalities in Prevention," CEPR Discussion Papers 8112, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Xinyan Shi, 2013. "Information disclosure and vaccination externalities," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 9(3), pages 229-243, September.
    12. Toxvaerd, Flavio & Rowthorn, Robert, 2022. "On the management of population immunity," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 204(C).
    13. Ibuka, Yoko & Bessho, Shun-ichiro, 2015. "Subsidies for influenza vaccination, vaccination rates, and health outcomes among the elderly in Japan," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 56-66.
    14. Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2010. "Infection, Acquired Immunity and Externalities in Treatment," CEPR Discussion Papers 8111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. repec:esx:essedp:707 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Westerink-Duijzer, L.E. & van Jaarsveld, W.L. & Wallinga, J. & Dekker, R., 2015. "Dose-optimal vaccine allocation over multiple populations," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI2015-29, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
    17. 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.
    18. Troy Tassier & Philip Polgreen & Alberto Segre, 2015. "Vaccination Games with Peer Effects in a Heterogeneous Hospital Worker Population," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, vol. 5(1), pages 1-25, January.
    19. 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.
    20. Charles F. Manski, 2014. "Vaccine Approvals and Mandates Under Uncertainty: Some Simple Analytics," NBER Working Papers 20432, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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