IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

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.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: Open access version.
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 28600.

in new window

Length: 53 pages
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:28600
Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. E. Elisabet Rutstrom & Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau, 2004. "Estimating Risk Attitudes in Denmark," Econometric Society 2004 Australasian Meetings 201, Econometric Society.
  2. Grossman, Michael, 1972. "On the Concept of Health Capital and the Demand for Health," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 223-55, March-Apr.
  3. Glenn W. Harrison & Morten I. Lau & E. Elisabet Rutström, 2007. "Estimating Risk Attitudes in Denmark: A Field Experiment," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 109(2), pages 341-368, 06.
  4. Mark R. Rosenzweig & T. Paul Schultz, 1982. "The Behavior of Mothers as Inputs to Child Health: The Determinants of Birth Weight, Gestation, and Rate of Fetal Growth," NBER Chapters, in: Economic Aspects of Health, pages 53-92 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Kim Streatfield & Masri Singarimbun & Ian Diamond, 1990. "Maternal Education and Child Immunization," Demography, Springer, vol. 27(3), pages 447-455, August.
  6. Grossman, Michael, 2000. "The human capital model," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 7, pages 347-408 Elsevier.
  7. Mike Brewer & Anita Ratcliffe & Sarah Smith, 2008. "Does welfare reform affect fertility? Evidence from the UK," IFS Working Papers W08/09, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. Cutler, David M. & Lleras-Muney, Adriana, 2010. "Understanding differences in health behaviors by education," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 1-28, January.
  9. Jérôme Adda, 2007. "Behavior towards health risks: An empirical study using the “Mad Cow” crisis as an experiment," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 285-305, December.
  10. David M. Cutler & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2006. "Education and Health: Evaluating Theories and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 12352, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Alan Blinder & Alan Krueger, 2004. "What Does the Public Know about Economic Policy, and How Does It Know It?," Working Papers 875, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  12. de Walque, Damien, 2007. "How does the impact of an HIV/AIDS information campaign vary with educational attainment? Evidence from rural Uganda," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 686-714, November.
  13. Anne Case & Angela Fertig & Christina Paxson, 2004. "The Lasting Impact of Childhood Health and Circumstance," Working Papers 246, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  14. Viscusi, W Kip, 1997. "Alarmist Decisions with Divergent Risk Information," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(445), pages 1657-70, November.
  15. Chevalier, Arnaud & O'Sullivan, Vincent, 2007. "Mother’s Education and Birth Weight," IZA Discussion Papers 2640, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  16. Glenn Harrison & John List, 2004. "Field experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00058, The Field Experiments Website.
  17. Sherry Glied & Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2008. "Technological innovation and inequality in health," Demography, Springer, vol. 45(3), pages 741-761, August.
  18. Duncan Thomas & John Strauss & Maria-Helena Henriques, 1991. "How Does Mother's Education Affect Child Height?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 26(2), pages 183-211.
  19. Michael Grossman, 2005. "Education and Nonmarket Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 11582, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. David M. Cutler & Adriana Lleras-Muney & Tom Vogl, 2008. "Socioeconomic Status and Health: Dimensions and Mechanisms," NBER Working Papers 14333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Lindeboom, Maarten & Llena-Nozal, Ana & van der Klaauw, Bas, 2006. "Parental Education and Child Health: Evidence from a Schooling Reform," IZA Discussion Papers 2516, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  22. de Walque, Damien, 2004. "Education, information, and smoking decisions : evidence from smoking histories, 1940-2000," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3362, The World Bank.
  23. Victor R. Fuchs, 1980. "Time Preference and Health: An Exploratory Study," NBER Working Papers 0539, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Petter Lundborg, 0000. "The Health Returns to Education - What can we learn from Twins?," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 08-027/3, Tinbergen Institute.
  25. Dana Goldman & James P. Smith, 2005. "Socioeconomic Differences in the Adoption of New Medical Technologies," NBER Working Papers 11218, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Neidell, Matthew J., 2004. "Air pollution, health, and socio-economic status: the effect of outdoor air quality on childhood asthma," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 1209-1236, November.
  27. Shin-Yi Chou & Jin-Tan Liu & Michael Grossman & Theodore J. Joyce, 2007. "Parental Education and Child Health: Evidence from a Natural Experiment in Taiwan," NBER Working Papers 13466, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Douglas Almond & Bhashkar Mazumder, 2006. "How did schooling laws improve long-term health and lower mortality?," Working Paper Series WP-06-23, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
  29. Peter Glick & David Sahn, 2007. "Changes in HIV/AIDS knowledge and testing behavior in Africa: how much and for whom?," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 383-422, April.
  30. Kenkel, Donald S, 1991. "Health Behavior, Health Knowledge, and Schooling," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(2), pages 287-305, April.
  31. Adriana Lleras-Muney, 2005. "The Relationship Between Education and Adult Mortality in the United States," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(1), pages 189-221.
  32. Adriana Lleras-Muney & Frank R. Lichtenberg, 2002. "The Effect of Education on Medical Technology Adoption: Are the More Educated More Likely to Use New Drugs," NBER Working Papers 9185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Goldman Dana P & Lakdawalla Darius N., 2005. "A Theory of Health Disparities and Medical Technology," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-32, September.
  34. Schroeder Ted C. & Tonsor Glynn T. & Pennings Joost M.E. & Mintert James, 2007. "Consumer Food Safety Risk Perceptions and Attitudes: Impacts on Beef Consumption across Countries," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-29, December.
  35. Arendt, Jacob Nielsen, 2005. "Does education cause better health? A panel data analysis using school reforms for identification," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 149-160, April.
  36. Janet Currie & Enrico Moretti, 2003. "Mother'S Education And The Intergenerational Transmission Of Human Capital: Evidence From College Openings," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 118(4), pages 1495-1532, November.
  37. Sang-Hyop Lee, 2005. "Demand for Immunization, Parental Selection, and Child Survival: Evidence from Rural India," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 171-196, 06.
  38. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:28600. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (LSERO Manager)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.