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Choices, beliefs, and infectious disease dynamics

  • Auld, M. Christopher

This paper develops a dynamic model of behavioural response to the risk of infectious disease. People respond to increased risk of infection by either making marginal adjustments in risky behaviour or by moving to a corner solution where perceived risk is zero. Individuals most prone to high-risk activity will tend to reduce activity less than low-risk people; very high risk people may exhibit "fatalism" and increase risky behaviour as the risk of becoming infected rises. Beliefs about the future course of the epidemic affect current behaviour even when utility is additively separable: pessimistic beliefs induce more risky behaviour. Simulations contrast the disease dynamics generated under these behaviours with those of standard epidemiological models and examine policy issues.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B6V8K-47GHX3T-1/2/e8072117910cab23fd6f2958da204e79
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Health Economics.

Volume (Year): 22 (2003)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 361-377

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:22:y:2003:i:3:p:361-377
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560

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  1. Tomas Philipson, 1996. "Private Vaccination and Public Health: An Empirical Examination for U.S. Measles," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(3), pages 611-630.
  2. Kremer, Michael, 1996. "Integrating Behavioral Choice into Epidemiological Models of AIDS," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 111(2), pages 549-73, May.
  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 603-24, August.
  4. Mechoulan Stéphane, 2004. "HIV Testing: a Trojan Horse?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-26, August.
  5. Avner Ahituv & V. Joseph Hotz & Tomas Philipson, 1996. "The Responsiveness of the Demand for Condoms to the Local Prevalence of AIDS," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 869-897.
  6. Tomas Philipson, 1999. "Economic Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases," NBER Working Papers 7037, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Peltzman, Sam, 1975. "The Effects of Automobile Safety Regulation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 83(4), pages 677-725, August.
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