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In Vaccines We Trust? The Effects of the CIA's Vaccine Ruse on Immunization in Pakistan

Monica Martinez-Bravo () and Andreas Stegmann ()
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Andreas Stegmann: CEMFI, Centro de Estudios Monetarios y Financieros,

Working Papers from CEMFI

Abstract: In July 2011, the Pakistani public unexpectedly learnt that the CIA had used a vaccination campaign as cover during the operations to locate and capture Osama Bin Laden. This episode lent credibility to conspiracy theories against vaccines that had been spread by the Taliban. We evaluate the effects of these events on immunization by implementing a Difference-in-Differences strategy across cohorts and regions. We find that vaccination rates declined 9 to 13% per standard deviation in Islamist parties' support. These results suggest that the disclosure of information discrediting vaccination campaigns can negatively affect trust in health services and demand for immunization.

Keywords: Vaccines; demand; propaganda; trust; Pakistan. (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I15 D74 D83 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dev
Date: 2017-09, Revised 2018-07
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