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Anatomy of a Health Scare: Education, Income and the MMR Controversy in the UK

  • Dan Anderberg
  • Arnaud Chevalier
  • Jonathan Wadsworth

One theory for why there is an education gradient in health outcomes is that more educated individuals more quickly absorb new health-related information. The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) controversy provides a case where, for a short period, some publicized research suggested that the particular childhood vaccine could have serious side-effects. As the controversy unfolded, uptake of the vaccine by more educated parents decreased relative to that of less educated parents, turning a positive education gradient into a negative one. We also consider the response in terms of uptake of other childhood vaccines and purchases of alternatives to the MMR.

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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0929.

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Date of creation: May 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0929
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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