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Abstract for:

Anatomy of a Health Scare: Education, Income and the MMR Controversy in the UK

Dan  Anderberg,  Arnaud  Chevalier,  Jonathan  Wadsworth,  May 2009
Paper No' CEPDP0929: | Full paper (pdf)
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Keywords: Childhood vaccinations; health outcomes, education

JEL Classification: H42; I18

Is hard copy/paper copy available? YES - Paper Copy Still In Print.
This Paper is published under the following series: CEP Discussion Papers
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One theory for why there is an education gradient in health outcomes is that more educated individuals more quickly absorb new health-related information. The measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) controversy provides a case where, for a short period, some publicized research suggested that the particular childhood vaccine could have serious side-effects. As the controversy unfolded, uptake of the vaccine by more educated parents decreased relative to that of less educated parents, turning a positive education gradient into a negative one. We also consider the response in terms of uptake of other childhood vaccines and purchases of alternatives to the MMR.