Nicolas Clootens: nicolas.clootens[at]univ-amu.fr
Romain Ferrali: romain.ferrali[at]univ-amu.fr
We provide evidence that offering financial incentives for COVID-19 vaccination is an effective and safe policy to increase vaccination uptake. We then study public attitudes towards offering financial incentives, investigating whether public opposition to the use of incentives for health-related behaviors hinders their adoption. To measure and characterize attitudes, we develop an experimental paradigm in which participants decide whether to provide incentives to others to vaccinate. In a representative sample of the Swedish population (N=1,004), we find that a large share of the population dislikes using financial incentives. Although people think incentives are effective, they also view them as coercive and perceive them as unethical. Contrary to concerns raised in the academic literature, people do not believe that incentives erode moral values or that incentives signal danger. Lastly, we document that the aversion to incentives extends beyond vaccination to other healthy behaviors, such as cancer screenings or smoking cessation. Our findings point to public disapproval as a key reason for why incentive policies are rarely used.