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Risk Compensation after COVID-19 Vaccination


  • Hwang, Jisoo

    (Harvard University)

  • Hwang, Seung-sik

    (Seoul National University)

  • Kim, Hyuncheol Bryant

    (Cornell University)

  • Lee, Jungmin

    (Seoul National University)

  • Lee, Junseok

    (UC Berkeley)


This paper studies the causal impacts of vaccine eligibility on social distancing behaviors (risk compensation). We apply a regression discontinuity design around the birth date cutoff of vaccine eligibility using large, high-frequency data from credit card and airline companies as well as survey data. We find no evidence of risk compensation although vaccine take-up increases substantially with eligibility. We find some evidence of self-selection into vaccine take-up based on perception towards vaccine effectiveness and side effects, but we do not find that the treatment effects differ between compliers and never-takers.

Suggested Citation

  • Hwang, Jisoo & Hwang, Seung-sik & Kim, Hyuncheol Bryant & Lee, Jungmin & Lee, Junseok, 2023. "Risk Compensation after COVID-19 Vaccination," IZA Discussion Papers 16053, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp16053

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    More about this item


    COVID-19; vaccine take-up; selection; risk compensation; social distancing;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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