It runs in the family – influenza vaccination and spillover effects

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Tom Van Ourti, Erasmus School of Economics

Date: Friday, April 20th

Time: 11 AM – 1:00 PM

Location: HSB 100 (155 College Street)

Tom Van Ourti is an endowed professor of applied health economics with a focus on health and inequality. His research focuses on understanding the socio-economic health gradient, with specific interest in impact evaluation, preventive care, measurement theory of health inequalities, and the elicitation of social preferences for income and health. He has published in journals including the Review of Economics and Statistics, Journal of Health Economics, Health Economics, and the Bulletin of the World Health Organization. He obtained his PhD from the University of Antwerp and has held a visiting position at the university of Melbourne. He is currently visiting the Milken Institute School of Public Health of the George Washington University.


This study examines the effects of a free influenza vaccination program in the Netherlands at age 65 using a regression discontinuity design. It found that invitations for free vaccinations increase the vaccination take-up by 10 percentage points and reduce influenza/pneumonia deaths among the target population, as well as lowers use of prescribed medicines and GP visits. There are similar take-up effects on the un-targeted partners and a negative spillover effect on the children of the target population.