April 2023

IZA DP No. 16053: Risk Compensation after COVID-19 Vaccination

Jisoo Hwang, Seung-sik Hwang, Hyuncheol Bryant Kim, Jungmin Lee, Junseok Lee

This paper studies the causal impacts of vaccine eligibility on social distancing behaviors (risk compensation). We apply a regression discontinuity design around the birth date cutoff of vaccine eligibility using large, high-frequency data from credit card and airline companies as well as survey data. We find no evidence of risk compensation although vaccine take-up increases substantially with eligibility. We find some evidence of self-selection into vaccine take-up based on perception towards vaccine effectiveness and side effects, but we do not find that the treatment effects differ between compliers and never-takers.