Comparative effectiveness of mandates and financial policies targeting COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy: A randomized, controlled survey experiment

Jessica Fishman, Mandy K. Salmon, Daniel Scheitrum, K. Aleks Schaefer, Christopher T Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations

Abstract

Experts debate whether COVID-19 vaccine mandates or financial incentives will reduce, rather than increase, 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 vaccine policies specifying: 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 that is most proximal to behavior (i.e., vaccination). Compared to controls, those who learned about the $1,000 cash reward policy were 17.1 (±5.3)% more likely to want vaccination. Employer mandates are more promising than other mandate policies (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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7451-7459
Number of pages9
JournalVaccine
Volume40
Issue number51
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 5 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • General Immunology and Microbiology
  • General Veterinary
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Infectious Diseases

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