Low Flu Shot Rates Puzzle—Some Plausible Behavioral Explanations

Shosh Shahrabani, Amiram Gafni, Uri Ben-Zion

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


The paper presents an economic model to analyze an individual's decision about whether or not to be vaccinated against influenza. It shows that based upon objective parameters, the vaccination rate should be high. Yet, empirical findings indicate low vaccination rates. Therefore, we use the behavioral approach and subjective variables to explain the empirical findings. The subjective variables in the model include perceived infection probability, time preference, subjective costs of vaccination, perceived severity of illness and perceived vaccination effectiveness. A low vaccination rate has a negative externality on society. The paper discusses potential policies that can be applied to changing the situation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)66-72
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Economist
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (all)


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