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Selfish-rational non-vaccination: Experimental evidence from an interactive vaccination game

Author

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  • Böhm, Robert
  • Betsch, Cornelia
  • Korn, Lars

Abstract

This paper provides an experimental game model – the Interactive Vaccination (I-Vax) Game – in order to investigate the behavioral consequences of risks from disease and from vaccination, and the epidemiological interdependence of vaccination decisions. Results from a controlled laboratory experiment provide evidence for selfish-rational non-vaccination: individuals react to the interactive incentive structure and make strategic vaccination decisions. We also find support for additional psychological factors determining behavior: individuals with stronger positive other-regarding preferences are more likely to vaccinate. Moreover, costs from action (vaccine-adverse events) have a stronger impact on behavior than costs from inaction (disease), which is evidence for the omission bias. Overall, we suggest that variants of the I-Vax Game can contribute to a better understanding of vaccination behavior and vaccine hesitancy. It can further be a useful experimental tool for testing interventions aiming at increasing vaccine uptake.

Suggested Citation

  • Böhm, Robert & Betsch, Cornelia & Korn, Lars, 2016. "Selfish-rational non-vaccination: Experimental evidence from an interactive vaccination game," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 131(PB), pages 183-195.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:131:y:2016:i:pb:p:183-195
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2015.11.008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Vaccination; Health behavior; Experiment; Social dilemma;

    JEL classification:

    • C7 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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