An Economic Framework for Vaccine Prioritization

43 Pages Posted: 17 May 2021

See all articles by Mohammad Akbarpour

Mohammad Akbarpour

Stanford University

Eric B. Budish

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Piotr Dworczak

Northwestern University - Department of Economics

Scott Duke Kominers

Harvard University

Date Written: May 15, 2021

Abstract

We propose an economic framework for determining priority rules for allocating a scarce supply of vaccines that gradually become available during a public health crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Agents differ in observable and unobservable characteristics, and the designer maximizes a social objective function over all feasible mechanisms accounting for those characteristics, as well as agents' endogenous behavior in the face of the pandemic. The framework emphasizes the role of externalities and incorporates equity as well as efficiency concerns. Our results provide an economic justification for providing the vaccines immediately and for free to some groups of agents, while at the same time showing that a carefully constructed pricing mechanism can improve outcomes by screening for individuals with the highest private and social benefits of receiving the vaccine.

Keywords: COVID-19, vaccination, mechanism design, inequality

JEL Classification: C78, D47, D61, D63, D82

Suggested Citation

Akbarpour, Mohammad and Budish, Eric B. and Dworczak, Piotr and Kominers, Scott Duke, An Economic Framework for Vaccine Prioritization (May 15, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3846931 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3846931

Mohammad Akbarpour

Stanford University ( email )

Eric B. Budish

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-8453 (Phone)

Piotr Dworczak

Northwestern University - Department of Economics ( email )

2003 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Scott Duke Kominers (Contact Author)

Harvard University ( email )

Rock Center
Harvard Business School
Boston, MA 02163
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.scottkom.com/

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

Paper statistics

Downloads
165
Abstract Views
764
rank
226,550
PlumX Metrics