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Cooperation Behavior and How Parents Decide Whether to Vaccinate Their Children

Marchal, Alexander
Immunization behavior and policy has become an increasingly contentious discussion because of recent outbreaks. So far in 2019 there have already been 465 confirmed measles cases across 19 states in America (McKay, 2019) and national DTaP immunization rates have declined by 4% this decade (WHO, 2018). Understanding why parents elect not to immunize their children is important to develop methods of dissuading immunization reluctance. This paper examines parents’ socioeconomic behavior and how it affects their decisions to immunize their child. More specifically, it aims to study the effect of free riding in vaccination decisions, and the social pressures that parents in rural communities in Wyoming feel. It looks at three different situations in which the personal connection to and contribution mechanism in a community are changed to evaluate how parents whom do not vaccinate their child act differently. This is done by analyzing play in a Voluntary Contribution Mechanism (VCM) game and by studying responses to survey questions which focus on parental community considerations in regard to vaccinations. Our results indicate that parents whom do not vaccinate do not have a higher propensity to free ride in the VCM. Rather, their decision is unique to community pressures and the individual vaccination situation.
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University of Wyoming. Libraries
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Voluntary Contribution Mechanism,Immunization,Cooperation,Free Riding,Rural
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