IZA DP No. 16307: Social Connections and COVID-19 Vaccination
This paper unpacks the effects of social networks on monthly county-level COVID19 vaccinations in the US. To parse out short-term community-level externalities where people help each other overcome immediate access barriers, from learning spillovers regarding vaccine efficacy that naturally take time, we distinguish between the contemporaneous and dynamic network effects of vaccination exposure. Leveraging an extensive list of controls and network proxies including Facebook county-to-county links, we find evidence showing positive, stage-of-pandemic dependent contemporaneous friendship network effects. We also consistently find null dynamic network effect, suggesting that social exposure to vaccination has had limited effect on alleviating COVID vaccine hesitancy.