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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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Suggested Citation

  • Barrett, Scott & Hoel, Michael, 2007. "Optimal disease eradication," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 12(05), pages 627-652, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:cup:endeec:v:12:y:2007:i:05:p:627-652_00

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Scott Barrett, 2003. "Global Disease Eradication," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 1(2-3), pages 591-600, 04/05.
    2. Francis, Peter J., 1997. "Dynamic epidemiology and the market for vaccinations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 383-406, February.
    3. 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.
    4. Mark Gersovitz & Jeffrey S. Hammer, 2004. "The Economical Control of Infectious Diseases," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(492), pages 1-27, January.
    5. Geoffard, Pierre-Yves & Philipson, Tomas, 1996. "Rational Epidemics and Their Public Control," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(3), pages 603-624, August.
    6. Geoffard, Pierre-Yves & Philipson, Tomas, 1997. "Disease Eradication: Private versus Public Vaccination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 222-230, March.
    7. 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.
    8. repec:aph:ajpbhl:10.2105/ajph.87.6.913_8 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. repec:aph:ajpbhl:1997:87:6:922-925_4 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Andrea Galeotti & Brian W. Rogers, 2013. "Strategic Immunization and Group Structure," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(2), pages 1-32, May.
    2. Stéphane Mechoulan, 2007. "Market structure and communicable diseases," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 40(2), pages 468-492, May.
    3. Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2010. "Infection, Acquired Immunity and Externalities in Treatment," CEPR Discussion Papers 8111, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. M. Ceddia, 2012. "Optimal Disease Eradication in Sympatric Metapopulations," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 52(4), pages 499-530, August.
    5. 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.
    6. repec:esx:essedp:707 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Scott Barrett, 2007. "The Smallpox Eradication Game," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 179-207, January.
    8. repec:esx:essedp:716 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health


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