April 2023

IZA DP No. 16084: Risk Aversion and COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy

Anthony Lepinteur, Liyousew G. Borga, Andrew E. Clark, Claus Vögele, Conchita D'Ambrosio

published in: Health Economics, 2023, 32, 1659-1669

We here investigate the role of risk aversion in COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy. The theoretical effect is ambiguous, as both COVID-19 infection and vaccination side-effects involve probabilistic elements. In large-scale data covering five European countries, we find that vaccine hesitancy falls with risk aversion, so that COVID-19 infection is perceived as involving greater risk than is vaccination.