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Anatomy of a health scare: education, income and the MMR controversy in the UK

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  • Anderberg, Dan
  • Chevalier, Arnaud
  • Wadsworth, Jonathan

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderberg, Dan & Chevalier, Arnaud & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 2009. "Anatomy of a health scare: education, income and the MMR controversy in the UK," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28600, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:28600
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    Cited by:

    1. Lehmann, Hartmut & Wadsworth, Jonathan, 2011. "The impact of Chernobyl on health and labour market performance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 843-857.
    2. McGuigan, Martin & McNally, Sandra & Wyness, Gill, 2014. "Student Awareness of Costs and Benefits of Educational Decisions: Effects of an Information Campaign and Media Exposure," IZA Discussion Papers 8596, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Halla, Martin & Zweimüller, Martina, 2014. "Parental Response to Early Human Capital Shocks: Evidence from the Chernobyl Accident," IZA Discussion Papers 7968, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Sila, Urban, 2009. "Can family-support policies help explain differences in working hours across countries?," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28684, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. Jensen, Vibeke Myrup & Wüst, Miriam, 2015. "Can Caesarean section improve child and maternal health? The case of breech babies," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 289-302.
    6. Ferrer, Rosa & Perrone, Helena, 2016. "Consumers' Costly Responses to Product Safety Threats," CEPR Discussion Papers 11262, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    7. Damon Clark & Heather Royer, 2010. "The Effect of Education on Adult Health and Mortality: Evidence from Britain," NBER Working Papers 16013, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Sayaka Nakamura, 2016. "Determinants of contraceptive choice among Japanese women: ten years after the pill approval," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 553-575, September.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Childhood vaccinations; health outcomes; education;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • H42 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Publicly Provided Private Goods

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