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To Vaccinate or to Procrastinate? That is the Prevention Question

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  • Robert Nuscheler
  • Kerstin Roeder

Abstract

Invoking Yaari's dual theory we develop a model of individual vaccination decisions that incorporates quasi-hyperbolic discounting (present-biasedness), risk aversion, and information. We test the resulting hypotheses for the flu season 2010/2011 using a representative German data set. It turns out that quasi-hyperbolic discounting men vaccinate with a significantly lower probability than exponential discounters; they tend to procrastinate. There is no such delay in the prevention behavior of women who tend to vaccinate despite their distorted time preference. Risk aversion is positively related to the probability to vaccinate for men, while the association is negative for women. Well informed individuals have a much higher propensity to vaccinate than poorly informed individuals. Our results suggest that public health policy should not only concentrate on providing information about the flu and the flu shot but also increase the awareness that distorted time preferences may have a bearing on individual prevention decisions.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Nuscheler & Kerstin Roeder, 2014. "To Vaccinate or to Procrastinate? That is the Prevention Question," Working Papers 14C004, Canadian Centre for Health Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:cch:wpaper:14c004
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Ewan Gray’s journal round-up for 27th April 2020
      by Ewan Gray in The Academic Health Economists' Blog on 2020-04-27 11:00:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Vincenzo Carrieri & Ansgar Wuebker, 2016. "Quasi-Experimental Evidence on the Effects of Health Information on Preventive Behaviour in Europe," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 78(6), pages 765-791, December.
    2. Vincenzo Carrieri & Ansgar Wuebker, 2014. "Does the Letter Matter (and for Everyone)? - Quasi-experimental Evidence on the Eff ects of Home Invitation on Mammography Uptake," Ruhr Economic Papers 0491, Rheinisch-Westfälisches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Universität Dortmund, Universität Duisburg-Essen.
    3. Carrieri, V. & Wuebker, A., 2014. "Does the letter matter (and for everyone)? Quasi-experimental evidence on the effects of home invitation on mammography uptake," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 14/11, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    4. Hoffmann, Manuel & Mosquera, Roberto & Chadi, Adrian, 2019. "Vaccines at Work," VfS Annual Conference 2019 (Leipzig): 30 Years after the Fall of the Berlin Wall - Democracy and Market Economy 203661, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    5. Simon Binder & Robert Nuscheler, 2017. "Risk‐taking in vaccination, surgery, and gambling environments: Evidence from a framed laboratory experiment," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(S3), pages 76-96, December.
    6. David Crainich & Louis Eeckhoudt & Mario Menegatti, 2019. "Vaccination as a trade-off between risks," Italian Economic Journal: A Continuation of Rivista Italiana degli Economisti and Giornale degli Economisti, Springer;Società Italiana degli Economisti (Italian Economic Association), vol. 5(3), pages 455-472, October.
    7. Yoko Ibuka & Jun-ichi Itaya & Naomi Miyazato, 2018. "An Analysis of Peer Effects on Vaccination Behavior Using a Model of Privately Provided Public Goods," CESifo Working Paper Series 6933, CESifo.
    8. Bouckaert, Nicolas & Gielen, Anne C. & Van Ourti, Tom, 2020. "It runs in the family – Influenza vaccination and spillover effects," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(C).
    9. repec:zbw:rwirep:0491 is not listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    flu shot; prevention; quasi-hyperbolic discounting; risk aversion; information; public health;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods
    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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