Subsidies for influenza vaccination, vaccination rates, and health outcomes among the elderly in Japan

Yoko Ibuka, Shun-Ichiro Bessho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Vaccination against infectious diseases produces externalities, and providing subsidies is one way of internalizing the externality. The effect of subsidies as a policy tool depends on individual's response to the cost of vaccine. However, there have been few studies on the effects of vaccine costs on vaccination uptake. Using regional variations in vaccination subsidy amount within Japan's current immunization program, we examined the impact of subsidies for the cost of influenza vaccine on the vaccination rates and on two health outcome measures. Our results show that an increase in the subsidy amount by 1,000 yen (10 USD) leads to a one percentage point increase in the vaccination rate among the elderly, suggesting that vaccination rate is responsive to the costs of vaccination. On the other hand, we found no substantial effects on health outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)56-66
Number of pages11
JournalJapan and the World Economy
Volume36
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov 1

Keywords

  • Demand
  • Health production
  • Healthcare decision
  • Policy evaluation
  • Preventive care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Finance
  • Political Science and International Relations

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