NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Chelsea J. Richwine

George Washington University
950 New Hampshire Ave NW
Washington, DC 20052

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: George Washington University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2019Do Stricter Immunization Laws Improve Coverage? Evidence from the Repeal of Non-medical Exemptions for School Mandated Vaccines
with Avi Dor, Ali Moghtaderi: w25847
Nonmedical exemptions are widely shown to be associated with outbreaks of vaccine-preventable disease. In response to a recent measles outbreak in 2015, California acted to increase immunization coverage by removing all nonmedical exemptions effective in 2016. Employing a unique dataset of county-level vaccination and exemption rates at Kindergarten entry, we exploit the recent policy change in California to estimate the impact of the repeal of nonmedical exemptions on immunization coverage for school-mandated vaccines. Relative to a diverse group of control states, our findings indicate that vaccination coverage increased for all required vaccines following the repeal, ranging from 2.5% for MMR to 5% for Polio. We also find a significant 3.4 percentage-point decline in nonmedical exem...
 
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