ICES Seminar in Experimental Economics and Game Theory

Do Financial Incentives Have Negative Unintended Consequences? Evidence From Payments For Vaccinations

Friday, March 25, 2022 12:00 PM to 1:00 PM EDT
Online Location, Zoom Meeting

ICES Seminar in Experimental Economics and Game Theory

The ICES Seminar in Experimental Economics and Game Theory of the Spring 2022 semester will feature:

Pol Campos-Mercade

University of Copenhagen

Do Financial Incentives Have Negative Unintended Consequences? Evidence From Payments For Vaccinations

 

Please contact ICES Office Manager (sbahabib@gmu.edu) for Zoom link.

 

Abstract

Financial incentives to encourage healthy and prosocial behaviors often trigger initial behavioral change, but a large academic literature cautions against using them. Critics warn that financial incentives can crowd out prosocial motivations and reduce perceived safety and trust, thereby reducing healthy behavior when no payments are offered and eroding morals more generally. Here we report findings from a large-scale, pre-registered study that causally measures the unintended consequences of offering financial incentives for taking a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. We use a unique combination of random exposure to financial incentives, population-wide administrative vaccination records, and rich survey data. We find no negative consequences of financial incentives; we can reject even small negative impacts of offering financial incentives on future vaccination uptake (second dose and booster shots), morals, trust, and perceived safety.  Our evidence informs not only the academic debate, but also policy-makers who consider financial incentives for behavior change.

 

For more information about the Seminar Series, please visit the Seminar Schedule homepage.

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