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

37 Pages Posted: 10 Nov 2021 Last revised: 17 Nov 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 so that economies can remain open. While public 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 be hesitant to encourage their customers to vaccinate 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 such as discounts or promotions, a simple ‘nudge’ can generate demand (trips) as well as motivate a socially beneficial action (getting vaccinated) by providing relevant and timely information (closest vaccine centers, appointment requirements, etc.). Analyzing more than four million customer trips, we found that providing COVID-19 vaccination information led to ~ 60% increase in trips to vaccine centers and an 7.67% increase in ridesharing usage among customers, generating 167 thousand dollars per week in additional revenues for the firm in the focal city. The increases in trips to vaccine centers and in revenues were likely driven by reduced search costs for customers and an increased number of trips taken by customers once fully vaccinated.

Keywords: COVID-19, Ridesharing Platform, Economy, 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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