Should Firms Promote COVID-19 Vaccination to their Customers? Evidence of Social and Economic Impact from a Natural Experiment in Ridesharing

38 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2021 Last revised: 13 Dec 2021

See all articles by Vivek Choudhary

Vivek Choudhary

Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Zhaoyan Liu

Department of Analytics & Operations, NUS Business School

Pavel Kireyev

INSEAD

Selim Turki

Careem

Olesya Borzdyko

Careem

Abderrahmane Boutaib

Careem

Date Written: November 2, 2021

Abstract

By late 2021, only a fraction of the world’s population had been vaccinated for COVID-19. Governments and firms have invested billions of dollars to urge people to get vaccinated quickly. While health experts have proposed several communication strategies to encourage vaccination, there is limited evidence on the effectiveness of such campaigns, especially when undertaken by the private sector. Furthermore, firms may hesitate to invest if they view such initiatives as a pro-social investment with no immediate positive effect on revenues. Using a natural experiment with a ridesharing platform, we find evidence that sharing information about vaccination can have a positive impact on both vaccination rates and firm revenues. Without providing financial incentives (discounts or promotions), a simple ‘nudge’ can generate demand as well as motivate a socially beneficial action by providing relevant and timely information (closest vaccine centers, etc.). Analyzing ~4 million customer trips, we found that providing information led to ~55% increase in trips to vaccine centers and a 3.24-7.67% increase in ridesharing usage, generating ~$71,000-167,000 per week in additional revenues in the focal city. Results were likely driven by reduced search costs and an increased number of trips taken by customers once fully vaccinated.

Keywords: COVID-19, Ridesharing Platform, Nudge, Natural Experiment, Vaccination, Social Impact

Suggested Citation

Choudhary, Vivek and Liu, Zhaoyan and Kireyev, Pavel and Turki, Selim and Borzdyko, Olesya and Boutaib, Abderrahmane, Should Firms Promote COVID-19 Vaccination to their Customers? Evidence of Social and Economic Impact from a Natural Experiment in Ridesharing (November 2, 2021). INSEAD Working Paper No. 2021/62/MKT, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3957981 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3957981

Vivek Choudhary (Contact Author)

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) ( email )

College of Business, NTU,
Singapore, 639798
Singapore

HOME PAGE: http://sites.google.com/view/vkchoudhary

Zhaoyan Liu

Department of Analytics & Operations, NUS Business School ( email )

15 Kent Ridge Dr, Singapore 119245
Singapore, Singapore 119245
Singapore

Pavel Kireyev

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

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

Selim Turki

Careem ( email )

Olesya Borzdyko

Careem ( email )

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