Psychic vs. Economic Barriers to Vaccine Take-Up: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Nigeria
48 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2018
Date Written: February 20, 2018
This paper experimentally evaluates the relative importance of psychic costs of tetanus vaccination compared to monetary costs among women in rural Nigeria. To measure psychic costs, vaccine take-up between two conditions to receive cash incentives is compared: clinic attendance vs. vaccine take-up. Because the only difference between these two conditions is whether a woman was required to receive a vaccine upon arrival at the clinic, the difference in clinic attendance between these two groups captures the psychic costs of vaccination. Contrary to conventional wisdom, no evidence for significant psychic costs is found. Priming about disease severity increases the perceived severity of disease, but not vaccine take-up. Monetary costs strongly affect vaccination decisions.
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