In majoritarian democracies, popular policies may not be inclusive, and inclusive policies may not be popular. This dilemma raises the crucial question of when it is possible to design a policy that is both inclusive and popular. We address this question in the context of vaccine allocation in a polarized economy facing a pandemic. In such an economy, individuals are organized around distinct networks and groups and have in-group preferences. We provide a complete characterization of the set of inclusive and popular vaccine allocations. The findings imply that the number of vaccine doses necessary to generate an inclusive and popular vaccine allocation is greater than the one necessary to obtain an allocation that is only popular. The analysis further reveals that it is always possible to design the decision-making rule of the economy to implement an inclusive and popular vaccine allocation. Under such a rule, the composition of any group endowed with the veto power should necessarily reflect the diversity of the society.
Nganmeni, Zephirin and Pongou, Roland and Tchantcho, Bertrand and Tondji, Jean-Baptiste, Vaccine and Inclusion (December 31, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3997950 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3997950