‘We Are Not Guinea Pigs': The Effects of Negative News on Vaccine Compliance

Apr 11, 2022, 12:15 pm1:15 pm
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Professor Archibong's research areas include development economics, political economy, economic history and environmental economics with an African regional focus. Her research investigates the role of historical institutions and environment in inequality of access to public services and the development of human capital, particularly in the areas of education, health and labor. Some current research studies the effects of epidemics on inequality, the economics of epidemics and vaccination, and the impacts of air pollution from gas flaring on human capital outcomes; with a focus on the ways in which institutions mitigate or exacerbate the impacts of climate change and environment on inequalities around gender and marginalized groups. Other works study the economics of prisons, the effects of protests on fiscal transfers and gender gaps in political participation, and the drivers of gender gaps in labor markets in African countries. 

She is a faculty affiliate at Columbia University's Center for Development Economics and Policy (CDEP)The Earth Institute at Columbia Universitythe Institute of African Studies, the Institute for Research in African-American Studiesthe Columbia Population Research Center (CPRC), and the Center for Environmental Economics and Policy (CEEP), and is currently a David M. Rubenstein Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

She joined the Barnard Economics faculty in 2015 and received a B.A. in Economics/Philosophy and a Ph.D. in Sustainable Development from Columbia University. Her CV and further information can also be found on her personal website.

Paper Abstract

In 1996, following an epidemic, Pfizer tested a new drug on 200 children in Muslim Nigeria. Eleven children died while others were disabled. We study the effects of negative news on vaccine compliance using evidence from the disclosure of deaths of Muslim children in the Pfizer trials in 2000. Muslim mothers reduced routine vaccination of children born after the 2000 disclosure. The effect was stronger for educated mothers and mothers residing in minority Muslim neighborhoods. The disclosure did not affect other health-seeking behavior of mothers. The results illustrate the potential spillover effects of perceived medical malpractice on future vaccine hesitancy.

A copy of the paper can be found here.

  • Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment
  • High Meadows Environmental Institute
  • Center for Health and Wellbeing