Social Science & Medicine
Volume 198 In progress (February 2018)
Do we consider paid sick leave when deciding to get vaccinated?
Original research article
Namhoon Kim, Travis P. Mountain
This study investigated the effect of paid sick leave on workers’ decisions to obtain vaccinations for the seasonal flu. Our vaccination decision model suggested that the marginal effect of paid sick leave depended on the reduced cost of obtaining a vaccination now and the expected income benefit from claiming paid sick leave after flu infection. Our hypothesis was that these effects vary according to workers’ income levels. To confirm this hypothesis, we examined 11,702 participants in the National H1N1 Flu Survey (NHFS) conducted in late 2009 to early 2010 and measured the marginal effect using a Bayesian endogenous covariates regression model. The results of our estimation indicate that having paid sick leave did affect workers’ vaccination decisions differently based on their income levels. Low-income workers were willing to be vaccinated because of the positive expected income benefit. High-income workers were willing to be vaccinated because the positive cost effect dominated the negative expected income benefit.