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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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File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/28600/
File Function: Open access version.
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Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 28600.

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Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:28600
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