Who Has a Clue to Preventing the Flu?

Unravelling Supply and Demand Effects on the Take-Up of Influenza Vaccinations

Published In: Journal of Health Economics, v. 28, no. 3, May 2009, p. 704-717

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2009

by Jürgen Maurer

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Influenza is a serious disease, especially for older people, and incomplete vaccination take-up poses a major public health challenge. On both the side of physicians and patients, there could be promising channels for increasing immunization rates, but no attempt has yet been made to empirically unravel their respective influences. Using exclusion restrictions implied by an economic model of physician-patient interactions, our study quantifies the particular effects of supply and demand on influenza immunization. On the supply side, our estimates highlight the importance of physician agency and physician quality, while a patientgass education and health behaviors are key demand side factors.

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