IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/jhecon/v31y2012i4p658-675.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Diversify or focus? Spending to combat infectious diseases when budgets are tight

Author

Listed:
  • Anderson, Soren T.
  • Laxminarayan, Ramanan
  • Salant, Stephen W.

Abstract

We consider a health authority seeking to allocate annual budgets optimally over time to minimize the discounted social cost of infection(s) evolving in a finite set of groups. This optimization problem is challenging since the standard SIS epidemiological model describing the spread of the disease contains a nonconvexity. Neither optimal control nor standard discrete-time dynamic programming can be used to identify the optimal policy. We modify the standard dynamic programming algorithm and show how familiar, elementary arguments can be used to reach conclusions about the optimal policy. We show that under certain conditions it is optimal to focus the entire annual budget on one group at a time rather than divide it among several groups, as is often done in practice. We also show that under certain conditions it remains optimal to focus on one group when faced with a wealth constraint instead of an annual budget.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderson, Soren T. & Laxminarayan, Ramanan & Salant, Stephen W., 2012. "Diversify or focus? Spending to combat infectious diseases when budgets are tight," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 658-675.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:31:y:2012:i:4:p:658-675 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2012.05.001
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167629612000550
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Laxminarayan, Ramanan, 2003. "ACT Now or Later: The Economics of Malaria Resistance," Discussion Papers dp-03-51, Resources For the Future.
    2. 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.
    3. Mark Gersovitz & Jeffrey S. Hammer, 2004. "The Economical Control of Infectious Diseases," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(492), pages 1-27, January.
    4. Gersovitz, Mark & Hammer, Jeffrey S., 2005. "Tax/subsidy policies toward vector-borne infectious diseases," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(4), pages 647-674, April.
    5. Mark Eiswerth & Wayne Johnson, 2002. "Managing Nonindigenous Invasive Species: Insights from Dynamic Analysis," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 23(3), pages 319-342, November.
    6. Herrmann, Markus & Gaudet, Gérard, 2009. "The economic dynamics of antibiotic efficacy under open access," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 57(3), pages 334-350, May.
    7. Gardner Brown & Ramanan Laxminarayan, 1998. "Economics of Antibiotic Resistance," Discussion Papers in Economics at the University of Washington 0060, Department of Economics at the University of Washington.
    8. Lars Olson & Santanu Roy, 2008. "Controlling a biological invasion: a non-classical dynamic economic model," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 36(3), pages 453-469, September.
    9. Philipson, Tomas J & Posner, Richard A, 1996. "The Economic Epidemiology of Crime," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 39(2), pages 405-433, October.
    10. Alan D. Lopez & Colin D. Mathers & Majid Ezzati & Dean T. Jamison & Christopher J. L. Murray, 2006. "Global Burden of Disease and Risk Factors," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7039.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Park, Hojeong, 2016. "A real option analysis for stochastic disease control and vaccine stockpile policy: An application to H1N1 in Korea," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 187-194.
    2. Rowthorn, Robert & Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2012. "The Optimal Control of Infectious Diseases via Prevention and Treatment," CEPR Discussion Papers 8925, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Dynamic programming; Dynamic optimization; Infectious disease; SIS dynamics;

    JEL classification:

    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:31:y:2012:i:4:p:658-675. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505560 .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.