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Managing Infectious Animal Disease Systems


  • Richard D. Horan
  • Eli P. Fenichel
  • Christopher A. Wolf
  • Benjamin M. Gramig

    () (Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824
    School of Life Sciences and ecoSERVICES Group, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona 85287
    Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47906)


We review the bioeconomic and disease ecology literatures on managing the spread of infectious diseases among and between wild and domestic animals. Management recommendations derived from these two literatures are compared and shown to differ due to the way each treats human behaviors. Conventional disease ecology models treat human behaviors as external to the disease system, whereas bioeconomic analysis treats behavior as an internal component of a jointly determined human-disease ecology system. The complexities of animal disease systems, including multiple state variables and imperfect controls, are shown to influence the overall level of optimal disease control, the optimal allocation of controls across species and activities, and long-run outcomes. Eradication is not always optimal, nor may it be optimal to pursue a steady-state outcome. Human responses to disease risks in decentralized settings are also examined. Finally, we conclude with a discussion of future research avenues.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard D. Horan & Eli P. Fenichel & Christopher A. Wolf & Benjamin M. Gramig, 2010. "Managing Infectious Animal Disease Systems," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 101-124, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:anr:reseco:v:2:y:2010:p:101-124

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    Cited by:

    1. Saak, Alexander E., 2012. "Infectious disease detection with private information:," IFPRI discussion papers 1162, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    2. repec:eee:ecolec:v:142:y:2017:i:c:p:228-237 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Elbakidze, Levan, 2008. "Modeling of Avian Influenza Mitigation Policies Within the Backyard Segment of the Poultry Sector," Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 33(2), pages 1-17.
    4. Fenichel, Eli P., 2013. "Economic considerations for social distancing and behavioral based policies during an epidemic," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 440-451.
    5. Bate, Andrew M. & Jones, Glyn & Kleczkowski, Adam & MacLeod, Alan & Naylor, Rebecca & Timmis, Jon & Touza, Julia & White, Piran C.L., 2016. "Modelling the impact and control of an infectious disease in a plant nursery with infected plant material inputs," Ecological Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 334(C), pages 27-43.

    More about this item


    bioeconomics; epidemiology; disease thresholds; targeting wildlife diseases; livestock diseases;

    JEL classification:

    • Q16 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - R&D; Agricultural Technology; Biofuels; Agricultural Extension Services
    • Q57 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Ecological Economics


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