Healthy habit mailer and flu-shot participation

Investigators:

Katherine Milkman, John Beshears, James Choi, David Laibson, Brigitte Madrian

Summary:

The goal of this project is to explore how small behavioral nudges in employer to employee communications can affect the likelihood that an employee will receive an influenza vaccination. We have partnered with a healthcare communications manager for employers, who sent three different types of mailings to their clients’ employees encouraging them to attend a free flu shot clinic at work. The first mailing encouraged employees to think about a list of healthy behaviors and check off whether “yes” they conform to the healthy habit or “no” they do not. The healthy behaviors on this list are fairly easy behaviors for most people, and thus most participants will answer “yes” to each habit. The second mailing encouraged employees to think about a list of fairly difficult healthy behaviors and check off whether “yes” they conform to the healthy habit or “no” they do not. The third mailing was an informational mailing only.


This research examines differences in flu shot take-up during the approximately 1 month period when clinics are being offered (following the mailing) as a function of the experimental condition.