Comparative Effectiveness of Mandates and Financial Policies Targeting COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy: A Randomized, Controlled Experiment

Vaccine (Forthcoming)

24 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2021 Last revised: 23 May 2022

See all articles by Jessica Fishman

Jessica Fishman

University of Pennsylvania

Mandy K. Salmon

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Medicine

Daniel Scheitrum

University of Arizona - College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

K. Aleks Schaefer

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater - Department of Agricultural Economics

Christopher T. Robertson

Boston University; University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

Date Written: November 14, 2021

Abstract

Experts debate whether COVID-19 vaccine mandates or financial incentives will “backfire” psychologically by reducing interest in vaccination. Among 3,698 unvaccinated U.S. residents, we conducted a randomized, controlled survey-embedded experiment to estimate the absolute and relative psychological effects of: mandates by employers or airlines, bars, and restaurants; lotteries for $1 million, $200,000, or $100,000; guaranteed cash for $1000, $200, or $100; and $1,000 as either a tax credit or penalty. Vaccine intention--the study outcome—predicts uptake and provides insight into the psychological mechanism. Compared to controls, those who learned about the $1,000 cash reward were 17.1 (±5.3)% more likely to want vaccination. Employer mandates are more promising than other mandates (8.6 [+/- 7.4]% vs. 1.4 [+/- 6.0]%). The full results suggest that neither mandates nor financial incentives are likely to have counterproductive psychological effects. These policies are not mutually exclusive and, if implemented well, they may increase vaccine uptake.

Note:
Funding: Funders included the Center for Incentives and Behavioral Economics, the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, and the Message Effects Lab at the University of Pennsylvania, plus the N. Neal Pike Scholar Fund at Boston University School of Law. The funders did not play any role in the design of the study, data collection, analysis, interpretation of data, or manuscript writing.

Declaration of Interests: None to declare.

Ethics Approval Statement: This study was reviewed and approved by the Institutional Review Board at the University of Pennsylvania, which waived the documentation of consent.

Trial Registration: The study design, analytical plans, including exclusions, and study outcomes were pre-registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04747327).

Keywords: vaccine, hesitancy, mandates, incentives, financial, economic, policy

JEL Classification: 100

Suggested Citation

Fishman, Jessica and Salmon, Mandy K. and Scheitrum, Daniel and Schaefer, K. Aleks and Robertson, Christopher T., Comparative Effectiveness of Mandates and Financial Policies Targeting COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy: A Randomized, Controlled Experiment (November 14, 2021). Vaccine (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3964293 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3964293

Jessica Fishman (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Mandy K. Salmon

University of Pennsylvania - Department of Medicine ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Daniel Scheitrum

University of Arizona - College of Agriculture and Life Sciences ( email )

Tucson, AZ 95721-0023
United States

K. Aleks Schaefer

Oklahoma State University - Stillwater - Department of Agricultural Economics ( email )

Stillwater, OK 74078-6026
United States

HOME PAGE: http://kaleksschaefer.weebly.com/

Christopher T. Robertson

Boston University ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
6179100649 (Phone)
02215 (Fax)

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

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

Paper statistics

Downloads
101
Abstract Views
935
Rank
390,512
PlumX Metrics