Jabbing Together? The Complementarity Between Social Capital, Formal Public Health Rules, and COVID-19 Vaccine Rates in the United States

18 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2022

See all articles by Byron Carson

Byron Carson

Hampden-Sydney College - Economics and Business Department

Justin P. Isaacs

Hampden-Sydney College

Anthony M. Carilli

Hampden-Sydney College

Date Written: January 17, 2022

Abstract

COVID-19 vaccine rates provide a unique opportunity to explore vaccine hesitancy and potential interactions between social capital and individual, normative values, namely for public health and/or personal freedom. While economists and public health scholars realize the independent effects social capital and stringent public health rules have on prevalence and mortality rates, few recognize how these factors influence vaccination rates. We advance this literature with a novel framework to analyze these interactions. With county-level data on COVID-19 vaccinations, social capital, and measures of the values people have for personal freedom and public health, we find that vaccination rates depend on individual values, the level of social capital, and the interaction between the two. Social capital mediates the values people hold dear, which can influence vaccination rates in positive and negative ways. Our results are robust to the inclusion of relevant controls and under multiple specifications. These results suggest that individuals and the communities people enter into and exit out of play an important role in decisions to vaccinate, which are independent of formal, governmental public health measures.

Note:
Funding Information: None to declare.

Conflict of Interests: None to declare.

Suggested Citation

Carson, Byron and Isaacs, Justin P. and Carilli, Anthony M., Jabbing Together? The Complementarity Between Social Capital, Formal Public Health Rules, and COVID-19 Vaccine Rates in the United States (January 17, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4044855 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4044855

Byron Carson (Contact Author)

Hampden-Sydney College - Economics and Business Department ( email )

Hampden-Sydney, VA 23943
United States

Justin P. Isaacs

Hampden-Sydney College ( email )

Hampden-Sydney, VA 23943
United States

Anthony M. Carilli

Hampden-Sydney College ( email )

Hampden-Sydney, VA 23943
United States

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