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Optimal disease eradication

  • BARRETT, SCOTT
  • HOEL, MICHAEL

Using a dynamic model of the control of an infectious disease, we derive the conditions under which eradication will be optimal. When eradication is feasible, the optimal program requires either a low vaccination rate or eradication. A high vaccination rate is never optimal. Under special conditions, the results are especially stark: the optimal policy is either not to vaccinate at all or to eradicate. Our analysis yields a cost-benefit rule for eradication, which we apply to the current initiative to eradicate polio.

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Article provided by Cambridge University Press in its journal Environment and Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 12 (2007)
Issue (Month): 05 (October)
Pages: 627-652

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Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:12:y:2007:i:05:p:627-652_00
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  1. Geoffard, P.Y. & Philipson, T., 1995. "Rational Epidemics and their Public Control," DELTA Working Papers 95-15, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  2. Mark Gersovitz & Jeffrey S. Hammer, 2004. "The Economical Control of Infectious Diseases," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(492), pages 1-27, 01.
  3. Scott Barrett, 2003. "Global Disease Eradication," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 591-600, 04/05.
  4. Goldman, Steven M. & Lightwood, James, 1996. "Cost Optimization in the SIS Model of Infectious Disease with Treatment," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt0r88q87t, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  5. Geoffard, Pierre-Yves & Philipson, Tomas, 1997. "Disease Eradication: Private versus Public Vaccination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 222-30, March.
  6. Brito, Dagobert L. & Sheshinski, Eytan & Intriligator, Michael D., 1991. "Externalities and compulsary vaccinations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 45(1), pages 69-90, June.
  7. Francis, Peter J., 1997. "Dynamic epidemiology and the market for vaccinations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 383-406, February.
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