Consumer impatience: A key motive for Covid-19 vaccination

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Journal Behavorial
22 March 2024

We study the behavioral determinants of COVID-19 vaccination uptake. The vaccine-pass policy, implemented in several countries in 2021, conditioned the access to leisure and consumption places to being vaccinated against COVID-19 and created an unprecedented situation where individuals’ access to consumption goods and vaccine status were interrelated. We rely on a quasi-hyperbolic discounting model to study the plausible relationships between time preference and the decision to vaccinate in such context. We test the predictions of our model using data collected from a representative sample of the French population (N = 1034) in August and September 2021. Respondents were asked about their COVID-19 vaccination status (zero, one, or two doses), as well as their economic and social preferences. Preference elicitations were undertaken online through incentivized tasks, with parallel collection of self-stated preferences. Factors associated with COVID-19 vaccination were investigated using a logistic model. Both elicited and stated impatience were found to be positively associated with COVID-19 vaccination decisions. These results suggest that impatience is a key motivational lever for vaccine uptake in a context where the vaccination decision is multidimensional and impacts the consumption potential. Results also serve to highlight the potential effectiveness of public communications campaigns based on time preferences to increase vaccination coverage.