On the Effect of Uncertainty on Personal Vaccination Decisions

12 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2021

See all articles by Christophe Courbage

Christophe Courbage

Haute Ecole de Gestion de Genève - University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO)

Richard Peter

University of Iowa

Date Written: April 6, 2021

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of ambiguity on personal vaccination decision. We first characterize the vaccination decision in the absence of ambiguity. We then show that uncertainty about the probability of side effects and the efficacy of the vaccine always reduce take-up under ambiguity aversion. However, uncertainty about the underlying disease, being the probability of sickness or the probability of a severe course of disease, may either encourage or discourage vaccination. Our results are relevant for policy because reducing uncertainty associated with the vaccine always has the de-sired effect whereas reducing uncertainty associated with the disease may have unintended consequences.

Keywords: primary prevention, vaccination, uncertainty, ambiguity

JEL Classification: D11, D81, I12

Suggested Citation

Courbage, Christophe and Peter, Richard, On the Effect of Uncertainty on Personal Vaccination Decisions (April 6, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3821166 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3821166

Christophe Courbage

Haute Ecole de Gestion de Genève - University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland (HES-SO) ( email )

Geneva
Switzerland

Richard Peter (Contact Author)

University of Iowa ( email )

341 Schaeffer Hall
Iowa City, IA 52242-1097
United States

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