SSHA Lecture Series Presents:
Nolan Noble, PhD Candidate from Notre Dame
Disease Risk and Vaccinations
This paper examines whether parents respond to the disease risk that their young children face in terms of vaccinations. With a simple model I motivate that vaccination responds to disease risk, and empirically test this using U.S. data from 2003 to 2010. I use a large nationally representative survey with administrative data on toddlers, allowing an examination of revealed preferences. Parents are 6.7% more likely to have their toddler fully vaccinated against influenza when there is an epidemic as compared with a mild flu season. I also test for behavioral explanations, examine heterogeneous responses, and consider Google Flu Trends data.