IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/27632.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Economic Consequences of R̂ = 1: Towards a Workable Behavioural Epidemiological Model of Pandemics

Author

Listed:
  • Joshua S. Gans

Abstract

This paper reviews the literature on incorporating behavioural elements into epidemiological models of pandemics. While modelling behaviour by forward-looking rational agents can provide some insight into the time paths of pandemics, the non-stationary nature of Susceptible-Infected-Removed (SIR) models of viral spread makes characterisation of resulting equilibria difficult. Here I posit a shortcut that can be deployed to allow for a tractable equilibrium model of pandemics with intuitive comparative statics and also a clear prediction that effective reproduction numbers (that is, R) will tend towards 1 in equilibrium. This motivates taking R̂=1 as an equilibrium starting point for analyses of pandemics with behavioural agents. The implications of this for the analysis of widespread testing, tracing, isolation and mask-use is discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua S. Gans, 2020. "The Economic Consequences of R̂ = 1: Towards a Workable Behavioural Epidemiological Model of Pandemics," NBER Working Papers 27632, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:27632
    Note: EH PR
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w27632.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dirk Krueger & Harald Uhlig & Taojun Xie, 2022. "Macroeconomic dynamics and reallocation in an epidemic: evaluating the ‘Swedish solution’," Economic Policy, CEPR, CESifo, Sciences Po;CES;MSH, vol. 37(110), pages 341-398.
    2. Dirk Kruger & Harald Uhlig & Taojun Xie, 2020. "Macroeconomic Dynamics and Reallocation in an Epidemic," Working Papers 2020-43, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    3. 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.
    4. Martin S Eichenbaum & Sergio Rebelo & Mathias Trabandt, 2021. "The Macroeconomics of Epidemics [Economic activity and the spread of viral diseases: Evidence from high frequency data]," The Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 34(11), pages 5149-5187.
    5. Victor Aguirregabiria & Jiaying Gu & Yao Luo & Pedro Mira, 2020. "A Dynamic Structural Model of Virus Diffusion and Network Production: A First Report," Working Papers wp2020_2014, CEMFI.
    6. Jeremy Greenwood & Philipp Kircher & Cezar Santos & Michèle Tertilt, 2019. "An Equilibrium Model of the African HIV/AIDS Epidemic," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 87(4), pages 1081-1113, July.
    7. 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.
    8. Luiz Brotherhood & Philipp Kircher & Cezar Santos & Michèle Tertilt, 2020. "An Economic Model of the Covid-19 Epidemic: The Importance of Testing and Age-Specific Policies," CESifo Working Paper Series 8316, CESifo.
    9. Bisin, Alberto & Moro, Andrea, 2020. "Learning Epidemiology by Doing: The Empirical Implications of a Spatial SIR Model with Behavioral Responses," MPRA Paper 101059, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Mark Gersovitz & Jeffrey S. Hammer, 2004. "The Economical Control of Infectious Diseases," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(492), pages 1-27, January.
    11. Flavio Toxvaerd, 2019. "Rational Disinhibition And Externalities In Prevention," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 60(4), pages 1737-1755, November.
    12. Farboodi, Maryam & Jarosch, Gregor & Shimer, Robert, 2021. "Internal and external effects of social distancing in a pandemic," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 196(C).
    13. Mark Gersovitz, 2011. "The Economics of Infection Control," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 3(1), pages 277-296, October.
    14. David McAdams, 2020. "Nash SIR: An Economic-Epidemiological Model of Strategic Behavior During a Viral Epidemic," Papers 2006.10109, arXiv.org.
    15. Łukasz Rachel, 2020. "An Analytical Model of Covid-19 Lockdowns," Discussion Papers 2029, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
    16. Glenn Ellison, 2020. "Implications of Heterogeneous SIR Models for Analyses of COVID-19," NBER Working Papers 27373, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Timothy C Reluga, 2010. "Game Theory of Social Distancing in Response to an Epidemic," PLOS Computational Biology, Public Library of Science, vol. 6(5), pages 1-9, May.
    18. 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.
    19. Baskozos, Giorgos & Galanis, Giorgos & Di Guilmi, Corrado, 2020. "A Behavioural SIR Model and its Implications for Physical Distancing," CRETA Online Discussion Paper Series 58, Centre for Research in Economic Theory and its Applications CRETA.
    20. Michael Kremer, 1996. "Integrating Behavioral Choice into Epidemiological Models of AIDS," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 111(2), pages 549-573.
    21. Toxvaerd, F.M.O, 2020. "Equilibrium Social Distancing," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2021, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    22. Callum Jones & Thomas Philippon & Venky Venkateswaran, 2021. "Optimal Mitigation Policies in a Pandemic: Social Distancing and Working from Home [A simple planning problem for covid-19 lockdown]," The Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 34(11), pages 5188-5223.
    23. 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.
    24. Daron Acemoglu & Ali Makhdoumi & Azarakhsh Malekian & Asuman Ozdaglar, 2024. "Testing, Voluntary Social Distancing, and the Spread of an Infection," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 72(2), pages 533-548, March.
    25. Brotherhood, Luiz & Kircher, Philipp & Santos, Cezar & Tertilt, Michèle, 2020. "An economic model of the Covid-19 epidemic: The importance of testing and age-specific policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 14695, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    26. Goolsbee, Austan & Syverson, Chad, 2021. "Fear, lockdown, and diversion: Comparing drivers of pandemic economic decline 2020," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 193(C).
    27. Francis, Peter J., 1997. "Dynamic epidemiology and the market for vaccinations," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 383-406, February.
    28. Daron Acemoglu & Ali Makhdoumi & Azarakhsh Malekian & Asuman Ozdaglar, 2024. "Testing, Voluntary Social Distancing, and the Spread of an Infection," Operations Research, INFORMS, vol. 72(2), pages 533-548, March.
    29. Michael Kremer, 1996. "Integrating Behavioral Choice into Epidemiological Models of the AIDS Epidemic," NBER Working Papers 5428, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    30. Brotherhood, Luiz & Kircher, Philipp & Santos, Cezar & Tertilt, Michèle, 2020. "An economic model of the Covid-19 epidemic: The importance of testing and age-specific policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 14695, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    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. Antonio Diez de los Rios, 2022. "A macroeconomic model of an epidemic with silent transmission and endogenous self‐isolation," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 55(S1), pages 581-625, February.
    2. Goodkin-Gold, Matthew & Kremer, Michael & Snyder, Christopher M. & Williams, Heidi, 2022. "Optimal vaccine subsidies for endemic diseases," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    3. Palatella, Luigi & Vanni, Fabio & Lambert, David, 2021. "A phenomenological estimate of the true scale of CoViD-19 from primary data," Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, Elsevier, vol. 146(C).
    4. Thomas Hellmann & Veikko Thiele, 2022. "A theory of voluntary testing and self‐isolation in an ongoing pandemic," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 24(5), pages 873-911, October.
    5. Andrew G. Atkeson & Karen Kopecky & Tao Zha, 2021. "Behavior and the Transmission of COVID-19," AEA Papers and Proceedings, American Economic Association, vol. 111, pages 356-360, May.
    6. Shibamoto, Masahiko & Hayaki, Shoka & Ogisu, Yoshitaka, 2022. "COVID-19 infection spread and human mobility," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 64(C).
    7. Joshua S. Gans, 2022. "Test sensitivity for infection versus infectiousness of SARS‐CoV‐2," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 43(6), pages 1880-1887, September.
    8. Łukasz Rachel, 2020. "An Analytical Model of Covid-19 Lockdowns," Discussion Papers 2029, Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM).
    9. Cherry, Todd L. & James, Alexander G. & Murphy, James, 2021. "The impact of public health messaging and personal experience on the acceptance of mask wearing during the COVID-19 pandemic," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 187(C), pages 415-430.
    10. Thomas Ash & Antonio M. Bento & Daniel Kaffine & Akhil Rao & Ana I. Bento, 2022. "Disease-economy trade-offs under alternative epidemic control strategies," Nature Communications, Nature, vol. 13(1), pages 1-14, December.
    11. Joshua S. Gans, 2023. "Vaccine Hesitancy, Passports, And The Demand For Vaccination," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 64(2), pages 641-652, May.
    12. Kremer, Michael & Więcek, Witold & Ahuja, Amrita & Simoes Gomes Junior, Alexandre & Snyder, Christopher & Tabarrok, Alex & Tan, Brandon, 2021. "Could Vaccine Dose Stretching Reduce COVID-19 Deaths?," CEPR Discussion Papers 16324, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Christopher Avery, 2021. "A Simple Model of Social Distancing and Vaccination," NBER Working Papers 29463, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. 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).

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. David E. Bloom & Michael Kuhn & Klaus Prettner, 2022. "Modern Infectious Diseases: Macroeconomic Impacts and Policy Responses," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 60(1), pages 85-131, March.
    2. Farboodi, Maryam & Jarosch, Gregor & Shimer, Robert, 2021. "Internal and external effects of social distancing in a pandemic," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 196(C).
    3. Timo Boppart & Karl Harmenberg & John Hassler & Per Krusell & Jonna Olsson, 2020. "Integrated Epi-Econ Assessment," NBER Working Papers 28282, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. 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).
    5. Goodkin-Gold, Matthew & Kremer, Michael & Snyder, Christopher M. & Williams, Heidi, 2022. "Optimal vaccine subsidies for endemic diseases," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    6. Martin F Quaas & Jasper N Meya & Hanna Schenk & Björn Bos & Moritz A Drupp & Till Requate, 2021. "The social cost of contacts: Theory and evidence for the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Germany," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 16(3), pages 1-29, March.
    7. 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.
    8. Carnehl, Christoph & Fukuda, Satoshi & Kos, Nenad, 2023. "Epidemics with behavior," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 207(C).
    9. Martin F. Quaas & Jasper N. Meya & Hanna Schenk & Björn Bos & Moritz A. Drupp & Till Requate, 2020. "The Social Cost of Contacts: Theory and Evidence for the Covid-19 Pandemic in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 8347, CESifo.
    10. Yasushi Iwamoto, 2021. "Welfare economics of managing an epidemic: an exposition," The Japanese Economic Review, Springer, vol. 72(4), pages 537-579, October.
    11. Guimarães, Luís, 2021. "Antibody tests: They are more important than we thought," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C).
    12. Joshua S. Gans, 2023. "Vaccine Hesitancy, Passports, And The Demand For Vaccination," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 64(2), pages 641-652, May.
    13. Dizioli, Allan & Pinheiro, Roberto, 2021. "Information and inequality in the time of a pandemic," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 130(C).
    14. Mitman, Kurt & Hanley, Douglas & Bognanni, Mark & Kolliner, Daniel, 2020. "Economics and Epidemics: Evidence from an Estimated Spatial Econ-SIR Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 15310, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    15. Baril-Tremblay, Dominique & Marlats, Chantal & Ménager, Lucie, 2021. "Self-isolation," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(C).
    16. David Berger & Kyle Herkenhoff & Chengdai Huang & Simon Mongey, 2022. "Testing and Reopening in an SEIR Model," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 43, pages 1-21, January.
    17. 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.
    18. Krishna Dasaratha, 2020. "Virus Dynamics with Behavioral Responses," Papers 2004.14533, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2023.
    19. Dasaratha, Krishna, 2023. "Virus dynamics with behavioral responses," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 214(C).
    20. Adriani, Fabrizio & Ladley, Dan, 2021. "Social distance, speed of containment and crowding in/out in a network model of contagion," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 190(C), pages 597-625.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:nbr:nberwo:27632. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 bibliographic 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.