Demand for COVID-19 Antibody Testing, and Why It Should Be Free

26 Pages Posted: 22 May 2020 Last revised: 26 May 2020

See all articles by Marta Serra-Garcia

Marta Serra-Garcia

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management

Nora Szech

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: May 21, 2020

Abstract

We study individual demand for COVID-19 antibody tests in an incentivized study on a representative sample of the US population. Almost 2,000 participants trade off obtaining an at-home test kit against money. At prices close to zero, 80 percent of individuals want the test. However, this broad support of testing falls sharply with price. Demand decreases by 19 percentage points per $10 price increase. Demand for testing increases with factors related to its potential value, such as age, increased length and strength of protective immunity from antibodies, and greater uncertainty about having had the virus. Willingness to pay for antibody tests also depends on income, ethnicity and political views. Trump-supporters demonstrate significantly lower willingness to pay for testing. Black respondents, even if critical of Trump’s approach to the crisis, pay less for testing than white and Hispanic respondents. If policy makers want a broad take-up of testing, the results suggest that tests should be for free.

Keywords: Coronavirus, COVID-19, Antibody Tests, Testing Markets, Information Preferences, Beliefs, Uncertainty

JEL Classification: D81, D91, I12, I18

Suggested Citation

Serra-Garcia, Marta and Szech, Nora, Demand for COVID-19 Antibody Testing, and Why It Should Be Free (May 21, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3607484 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3607484

Marta Serra-Garcia

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) - Rady School of Management ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
Rady School of Management
La Jolla, CA 92093
United States

Nora Szech (Contact Author)

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology ( email )

Kaiserstraße 12
Karlsruhe, Baden Württemberg 76131
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
253
Abstract Views
2,284
rank
112,415
PlumX Metrics