Graduation Year

2018

Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Department

Economics

Reader 1

Sean Flynn

Reader 2

Roberto Pedace

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© 2017 Kimaya K. Gokhale

Abstract

This thesis attempts to apply the theory of rational disease dynamics to the human papillomavirus by testing whether HPV vaccinations are prevalence elastic. A prevalence elastic relationship suggests that HPV vaccination rates respond positively to increasing prevalence rates of cervical cancer. Prevalence rates are measured both by incidence rates of cervical cancer and by mortality rates of cervical cancer. Data from the NIS-Teen Survey as well as data from the United States Cancer Statistics branch of the Centers for Disease Controls are used to construct a linear regression that controls for income, education levels, proxies for social culture, and proxies for physician access. Incidence was found to have no statistically significant effect on vaccination rates, while mortality rates were found to have a negative relationship with vaccination rates, suggesting that the rational disease dynamics theory does not apply to human papillomavirus and that vaccination rates for HPV are not prevalence elastic.

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