Author(s)  
Marta Serra-Garcia
Nora Szech

We study individual demand for COVID-19 antibody tests in an incentivized study on a representative sample of the US population. Almost 2,000 participants trade off obtaining an at-home test kit against money. At prices close to zero, 80 percent of individuals want the test. However, this broad support of testing falls sharply with price. Demand decreases by 19 percentage points per $10 price increase. Demand for testing increases with factors related to its potential value, such as age, increased length and strength of protective immunity from antibodies, and greater uncertainty about having had the virus. Willingness to pay for antibody tests also depends on income, ethnicity and political views. Trump supporters demonstrate significantly lower willingness to pay for testing. Black respondents, even if critical of Trump's approach to the crisis, pay less for testing than white and Hispanic respondents. If policy makers want a broad take-up of testing, the results suggest that tests should be free.

Publication Type  
Working Paper
File Description  
Second version, May 25, 2020
JEL Codes  
D81: Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
D91: Intertemporal Consumer Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
I12: Health Production
I18: Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
Keywords  
coronavirus
COVID-19
antibody tests
information preferences
beliefs
uncertainty