Effectiveness of state-level vaccination mandates: Evidence from the varicella vaccine
This paper utilizes longitudinal data on varicella (chickenpox) immunizations in order to estimate the causal effects of state-level school-entry and daycare-entry immunization mandates within the United States. We find significant causal effects of mandates upon vaccination rates among preschool children aged 19–35 months; these effects appear in the year of mandate adoption, peak two years after adoption, and show a minimal difference from the aggregate trend about six years after adoption. For a mandate enacted in 2000, the model and estimates imply that roughly 20% of the short-run increase in state-level immunization rates was caused by the mandate introduction. We find no evidence of differential effects for different socioeconomic groups. Combined with previous cost–benefit analyses of the varicella vaccine, the estimates suggest that state-level mandates have been effective from an economic standpoint.
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