Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Show Summary Details

The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy

Editor-in-Chief: Jürges, Hendrik / Ludwig, Sandra

Ed. by Auriol , Emmanuelle / Brunner, Johann / Fleck, Robert / Mendola, Mariapia / Requate, Till / Zulehner, Christine / Schirle, Tammy

IMPACT FACTOR 2015: 0.250
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.825

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2015: 0.501
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2015: 0.418
Impact per Publication (IPP) 2015: 0.455

See all formats and pricing


Vaccination Externalities

Bryan L. Boulier1 / Tejwant S. Datta2 / Robert S Goldfarb3

1The George Washington University,

2Albert Einstein Medical Center,

3George Washington University,

Citation Information: The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy. Volume 7, Issue 1, ISSN (Online) 1935-1682, DOI: 10.2202/1935-1682.1487, May 2007

Publication History

Published Online:

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.


Vaccination provides indirect benefits to the unvaccinated. Despite its important policy implications, there is little analytical or empirical work to quantify this externality, nor is it incorporated in a number of cost-benefit studies of vaccine programs. We use a standard epidemiological model to analyze how the magnitude of this externality varies with the number of vaccinations, vaccine efficacy, and disease infectiousness. We also provide empirical estimates using parameters for influenza and mumps epidemics. The pattern of the externality is complex and striking, unlike that suggested in standard treatments. The size of the externality is not necessarily monotonic in the number vaccinated, vaccine efficacy, nor disease infectiousness. Moreover, its magnitude can be remarkably large. In particular, the marginal externality of a vaccination can be greater than one case of illness prevented among the nonvaccinated, so its omission from policy analyses implies serious biases.

Keywords: externality; vaccination; public health; epidemic; influenza; mumps; epidemiological models

Citing Articles

Here you can find all Crossref-listed publications in which this article is cited. If you would like to receive automatic email messages as soon as this article is cited in other publications, simply activate the “Citation Alert” on the top of this page.

Troy Tassier, Philip Polgreen, and Alberto Segre
Journal of Economic Interaction and Coordination, 2015
Carla D. Scarbrough Lefebvre, Augustin Terlinden, and Baudouin Standaert
Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics, 2015, Page 00
Olivier Chanel, Stéphane Luchini, Sébastien Massoni, and Jean-Christophe Vergnaud
Social Science & Medicine, 2011, Volume 72, Number 2, Page 142
Charles Perrings, Carlos Castillo-Chavez, Gerardo Chowell, Peter Daszak, Eli P. Fenichel, David Finnoff, Richard D. Horan, A. Marm Kilpatrick, Ann P. Kinzig, Nicolai V. Kuminoff, Simon Levin, Benjamin Morin, Katherine F. Smith, and Michael Springborn
EcoHealth, 2014, Volume 11, Number 4, Page 464
Eric Naevdal
Health Economics, 2012, Volume 21, Number 12, Page 1456

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.