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Optimal disease eradication


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
Contact details of provider: Postal: Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK
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  1. 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.
  2. Scott Barrett, 2003. "Global Disease Eradication," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 591-600, 04/05.
  3. Gersovitz, Mark & Hammer, Jeffrey S., 2001. "The economic control of infectious diseases," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2607, The World Bank.
  4. Goldman Steven Marc & Lightwood James, 2002. "Cost Optimization in the SIS Model of Infectious Disease with Treatment," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-24, April.
  5. Francis, Peter J., 1997. "Dynamic epidemiology and the market for vaccinations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 383-406, February.
  6. Geoffard, P.Y. & Philipson, T., 1995. "Rational Epidemics and their Public Control," DELTA Working Papers 95-15, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  7. 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.
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