Attitudes toward financial incentives for health behaviours

Micro Seminar
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Florian Schneider

Friday 26 May 2023, 15:30 - 16:45
LAN 2.16
Langeveld building
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An effective and widely considered, but rarely used, policy instrument is to offer incentives for healthy behaviour. We study public attitudes towards offering such financial incentives, investigating whether public opposition to the use of incentives for health-related behaviours creates an impediment to their adoption.

(joint with Pol Campos-Mercade, Armando Meier, and Roberto Weber).

To measure and characterise attitudes, we develop an experimental paradigm in which participants decide whether to provide incentives to others for vaccination. In a representative sample of the Swedish population, 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 to be unethical. Contrary to concerns raised in the academic literature, our findings do not suggest that people 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 behaviours, such as cancer screenings or smoking cessation. Our findings provide a basis, in public sentiment, for the limited use of financial incentives for health behaviours despite their effectiveness.

Florian Schneider

About the speaker

Ingar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH). He Florian is a postdoc at the Department of Economics at the University of Zurich.

He will join the University of Copenhagen as an assistant professor in September. He works in the fields of behavioural economics and health economics. A lot of his work focuses on incentives and pro-social motivation.

He has recent publications in Nature, Science, and the Journal of Public Economics.


If you would like to schedule a bilateral, join for lunch or dinner on Friday evening, please send an email to

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