Association Between Statewide Financial Incentive Programs and COVID-19 Vaccination Rates

6 Pages Posted: 3 Sep 2021

See all articles by Harsha Thirumurthy

Harsha Thirumurthy

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy

Katherine L. Milkman

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Kevin Volpp

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine, Department of Medicine

Alison Buttenheim

University of Pennsylvania

Devin G. Pope

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Date Written: August 27, 2021

Abstract

To encourage COVID-19 vaccination, many states in the US have introduced financial incentives ranging from small, guaranteed rewards to lotteries that give vaccinated individuals a chance to win $1 million or more. We compiled information on statewide incentive programs along with data on daily vaccine doses administered per 100,000 individuals in each state. Leveraging variation across states in the daily presence of incentives, we used difference-in-differences regressions to examine the association between these incentive program indicators and vaccination rates. Difference-in-differences analysis showed that 24 statewide incentive programs were associated with a non-significant relative decline in daily vaccination rates of 8.9 per 100,000 individuals (95% CI [-64.3,46.5]; p=0.75). Furthermore, there was no significant difference in vaccination trends between states with and without incentives in any of the 14 days before or after incentives were introduced. Lotteries and other incentives offered by 24 states were not associated with a significant change in COVID-19 vaccination rates. More substantial incentives or mandates may be necessary to raise vaccination rates.

Note: Funding: No funding was provided for this work.

Declaration of Interests: Dr. Volpp is a co-owner of VAL Health. No other disclosures are reported.

Keywords: COVID-19 vaccination, incentives, health policy

JEL Classification: I1, I12

Suggested Citation

Thirumurthy, Harsha and Milkman, Katherine L. and Volpp, Kevin and Buttenheim, Alison and Pope, Devin G., Association Between Statewide Financial Incentive Programs and COVID-19 Vaccination Rates (August 27, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3912786 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3912786

Harsha Thirumurthy (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy ( email )

423 Guardian Dr
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Katherine L. Milkman

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Kevin Volpp

University of Pennsylvania - Perelman School of Medicine, Department of Medicine ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Alison Buttenheim

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Devin G. Pope

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

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