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The Economical Control of Infectious Diseases

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  • Mark Gersovitz
  • Jeffrey S. Hammer

Abstract

The structure of representative agents and decentralisation of the social planner's problem provide a framework for the economics of infection and associated externalities. Optimal implementation of prevention and therapy depends on: (1) biology including whether infection is person to person or by vectors; (2) whether the infected progress to recovery and susceptibility, immunity, or death; (3) costs of interventions; (4) whether interventions target everyone, the uninfected, the infected, or contacts between the two; (5) individual behaviour leading to two types of externalities. By way of example, if people recover to be susceptible, government subsidies should equally favour prevention and therapy. Copyright 2004 Royal Economic Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark Gersovitz & Jeffrey S. Hammer, 2004. "The Economical Control of Infectious Diseases," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(492), pages 1-27, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:ecj:econjl:v:114:y:2004:i:492:p:1-27
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Philipson, Tomas, 2000. "Economic epidemiology and infectious diseases," Handbook of Health Economics,in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 33, pages 1761-1799 Elsevier.
    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. 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.
    4. Michael Kremer, 1996. "Integrating Behavioral Choice into Epidemiological Models of AIDS," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 549-573.
    5. 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.
    6. Wiemer, Calla, 1987. "Optimal disease control through combined use of preventive and curative measures," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(2), pages 301-319, April.
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