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Short on shots: Are calls for cooperative restraint effective in managing a flu vaccines shortage?

Alain de Janvry (), Elisabeth Sadoulet () and Sofia Villas-Boas ()

Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, 2010, vol. 76, issue 2, 209-224

Abstract: We conducted a randomized experiment at the time of the 2004 flu vaccine shortage, providing information about the sharply reduced number of clinics and their schedule, and an appeal on cooperative restraint to a campus population. This strategy was intended to reduce demand for vaccination among non-priority individuals and to free available supplies for the priority population. It failed to achieve its purpose. Information induced a net increase in vaccines distributed and, perversely, the net increase originated entirely in non-priority individuals. The surprising finding is that calls on cooperative restraint induced an uncalled for positive response among priority individuals, while they induced an increase in cheating among non-priority individuals. Age as a qualifying factor was in particular widely abused, with the number of "65 years old" more than twice the predicted value, while about half of the predicted 61-64 years old were missing.

Keywords: Randomized; experiment; Shortage; Cooperative; restraint; Cheating (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2010
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Working Paper: Short on Shots: Are Calls on Cooperative Restraint Effective in Managing a Flu Vaccines Shortage? (2010) Downloads
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