An occasional review of technology, markets, and ideas.

Incentives and Vaccines

"There are two fundamental insights at the heart of economics. The first is that people respond to incentives. Obvious opportunities to be better off are rarely left unexploited. The second is that every economic transaction has two sides: each side gets something and each side gives up something." – Paul Krugman

In an attempt to increase the rate of vaccination among Ohioans, Governor Mike DeWine announced back in May that any Ohio resident who received at least one dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine would have a $1 million prize or a full-ride scholarship to a four-year university in the state.

Yesterday, Ohio announced the second Vax-a-Million winner, Jonathan Carlyle, from Toledo. As the Toledo Blade reports, program did exactly what it was intended to do which is provide an incentive for folks who were otherwise reticent to get a vaccine:

"I kept hemming and hawing about it, and I work all the time, and when the Vax-a-Million thing started I immediately went down there and got it. It pushed me over the edge,” he said.

Let's hope more states come up with clever incentive mechanisms to get shots in arms!

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Jamie Larson