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JUE insight: Learning epidemiology by doing: The empirical implications of a Spatial-SIR model with behavioral responses

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  • Bisin, Alberto
  • Moro, Andrea

Abstract

We simulate a spatial behavioral model of the diffusion of an infection to understand the role of geographic characteristics: the number and distribution of outbreaks, population size, density, and agents’ movements. We show that several invariance properties of the SIR model concerning these variables do not hold when agents interact with neighbors in a (two dimensional) geographical space. Indeed, the spatial model’s local interactions generate matching frictions and local herd immunity effects, which play a fundamental role in the infection dynamics. We also show that geographical factors change how behavioral responses affect the epidemic. We derive relevant implications for estimating the effects of the epidemic and policy interventions that use panel data from several geographical units.

Suggested Citation

  • Bisin, Alberto & Moro, Andrea, 2022. "JUE insight: Learning epidemiology by doing: The empirical implications of a Spatial-SIR model with behavioral responses," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:juecon:v:127:y:2022:i:c:s0094119021000504
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jue.2021.103368
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    1. Bisin, Alberto & Moro, Andrea, 2022. "Spatial‐SIR with network structure and behavior: Lockdown rules and the Lucas critique," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 198(C), pages 370-388.
    2. Xiao Chen & Hanwei Huang & Jiandong Ju & Ruoyan Sun & Jialiang Zhang, 2022. "Endogenous cross-region human mobility and pandemics," CEP Discussion Papers dp1860, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    3. Khan,Amjad Muhammad & Park,Hogeun & Roberts,Mark & Wibisana,Putu Sanjiwacika, 2022. "When the Lights Go Out : The Economic Impacts of Covid-19 on Cities Globally," Policy Research Working Paper Series 10189, The World Bank.
    4. Mart n Gonzales-Eiras, Dirk Niepelt, 2023. "Optimal Epidemic Control," Diskussionsschriften dp2311, Universitaet Bern, Departement Volkswirtschaft.
    5. Xiao Chen & Hanwei Huang & Jiandong Ju & Ruoyan Sun & Jialiang Zhang, 2024. "Endogenous mobility in pandemics: Theory and evidence from the United States," CEP Discussion Papers dp1981, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

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