Strategic Immunization and Group Structure
AbstractWe consider the spread of a harmful state through a population divided into two groups. Interaction patterns capture the full spectrum of assortativity possibilities. We show that a central planner who aims for eradication optimally either divides equally the resources across groups, or concentrates entirely on one group, depending on whether there is positive or negative assortativity, respectively. We study a game in which agents can, at a cost, immunize. Negative assortative interactions generate highly asymmetric equilibrium outcomes between ex-ante identical groups. When groups have an underlying difference, even a small amount of inter-group contacts generates large asymmetries. We study the diffusion of a harmful state through a population. Immunity is available, but is costly. The state is meant to capture various kinds of choices or risky behaviors such as, for example, tobacco use, in which case immunity is interpreted as a commitment to avoid the temptation of smoking. The state can also capture the presence of an electronic virus on a computer network; in this case immunity represents the purchase of anti-virus software, or other costly measures taken to avoid the virus. But perhaps the most conventional interpretation is that the state represents human infection of various communicable diseases that spread through social contacts; in this case immunity captures a decision to vaccinate oneself.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Essex, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 716.
Date of creation: 25 Jul 2012
Date of revision:
Postal: Discussion Papers Administrator, Department of Economics, University of Essex, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester CO4 3SQ, U.K.
Other versions of this item:
- Andrea Galeotti & Brian W. Rogers, 2012. "Strategic Immunization and Group Structure," Economics Discussion Papers 707, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
- Andrea Galeotti & Brian Rogers, 2012. "Strategic Immunization and Group Structure," Discussion Papers 1551, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
- D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
- D85 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Network Formation
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2012-09-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-GTH-2012-09-30 (Game Theory)
- NEP-MIC-2012-09-30 (Microeconomics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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