Behavioral and policy interventions to increase vaccine uptake : evidence from interactive vaccination experiments

  • Verhaltens- und Politikinterventionen zur Steigerung der Impfstoffaufnahme : Evidenz aus interaktiven Impfexperimenten

Meier, Nicolas Werner; Böhm, Robert (Thesis advisor); Wiesen, Daniel (Thesis advisor)

Aachen (2019)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Dissertation, Rheinisch-Westfälische Technische Hochschule Aachen, 2019, Kumulative Dissertation


In my dissertation I am investigating vaccination behavior theoretically and experimentally from a microeconomic perspective. This dissertation applies a game-theoretical vaccination model (I-Vax game), which considers the direct and indirect effects of vaccination and examines the incentives of a vaccination decision. This model is used for controlled economic laboratory and online experiments to empirically investigate research questions on vaccination behavior. The four chapters of this dissertation each represent one research project. In all projects, I use the I-Vax game as an experimental tool, either as an online or a laboratory experiment, to shed light on and understand vaccination behavior and decisions from different perspectives. The experimental designs of the studies in Chapters 1 and 2 are intended to investigate and understand the behavioral consequences of different policy measures on vaccination decisions. In Chapter 1, it is examined to what extent non-obligatory vaccination recommendations made by health authorities for different risk groups can influence vaccination behavior. Chapter 2 deals with the questions how individual preferences for mandatory and voluntary vaccination policies emerge before and after participants experience these vaccination policies and how individual preferences for these policies change over time. Chapter 3 examines psychological factors that can influence vaccination behavior. I investigate to what extent the responsibility of non-vaccinated individuals in the population influences the vaccination behavior of others who still have to make a vaccination decision. I distinguish between low responsibility individuals, who would like to be vaccinated but cannot, and high responsibility individuals, who do not want to be vaccinated but actually can be. In both contexts, there is the same incentive structure from an economic perspective. Only the perception of the responsibility of the unvaccinated individuals in this project influences vaccination behavior. Chapter 4 deals with economic incentives. If the effectiveness of a vaccine is low, the incentive to be vaccinated increases from an individual rational perspective. I examine whether individuals understand this relationship and whether they behave rationally given the economic incentive structure. All four projects have in common that they analyze factors that influence either vaccination behavior or acceptance (preferences) of vaccination policies.