The Challenge: Low vaccination rates lead to millions of preventable deaths every year
Immunization is a highly cost-effective way of improving child survival, yet each year millions of people die from vaccine-preventable diseases. In countries such as India, where vaccinations are provided for free in public health facilities, immunization rates have seen some increases but still remain low. According to the most recent National Health Family Survey (2005-06), in Rajasthan only 44% of children aged 1-2 years had received the basic package of vaccines (BCG, measles and 3 doses each of polio/DPT). That percentage drops substantially, to 22%, in rural settings.
Karlan and Appel combine behavioral economics with worldwide field research that takes them into villages across Africa, India, South America, and the Philippines, where economic theory collides with real life.