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Choices, Beliefs, and Infectious Disease Dynamics

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  • M. Christopher Auld

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • M. Christopher Auld, 1996. "Choices, Beliefs, and Infectious Disease Dynamics," Working Paper 938, Economics Department, Queen's University.
  • Handle: RePEc:qed:wpaper:938
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    File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca/working_papers/papers/qed_wp_938.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Aguirregabiria, Victor & Gu, Jiaying & Luo, Yao & Mira, Pedro, 2020. "A Dynamic Structural Model of Virus Diffusion and Network Production: A First Report," CEPR Discussion Papers 14750, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. 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.
    3. Daniel Nettle, 2010. "Why Are There Social Gradients in Preventative Health Behavior? A Perspective from Behavioral Ecology," PLOS ONE, Public Library of Science, vol. 5(10), pages 1-6, October.
    4. Aadland David & Finnoff David C. & Huang Kevin X.D., 2013. "Syphilis Cycles," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(1), pages 297-348, June.
    5. Manuel Hoffmann & Roberto Mosquera & Adrian Chadi, 2019. "Vaccines at Work," TWI Research Paper Series 116, Thurgauer Wirtschaftsinstitut, Universität Konstanz.
    6. Diana Sonntag, 2014. "FUNDING HIV‐VACCINE RESEARCH IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES—WHAT IS WRONG WITH IAVI's RECOMMENDATION?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(2), pages 141-158, February.
    7. Monica J. Grant, 2008. "Children’s school participation and HIV/AIDS in rural Malawi:," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 19(45), pages 1603-1634.
    8. Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2010. "Recurrent Infection and Externalities in Prevention," CEPR Discussion Papers 8112, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Islam, Asad & Smyth, Russell & Tan, HongQi Alexis & Wang, Liang C., 2019. "Survey measures versus incentivized measures of risk preferences: Evidence from sex workers' risky sexual transactions," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 238(C), pages 1-1.
    10. Sheikh Shahnawaz, 2011. "Infectious disease outbreak and trade policy formulation," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 31(4), pages 2959-2967.
    11. Mannberg, Andréa, 2012. "Risk and rationalization—The role of affect and cognitive dissonance for sexual risk taking," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(6), pages 1325-1337.
    12. Stéphane Mechoulan, 2007. "Market structure and communicable diseases," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 40(2), pages 468-492, May.
    13. Shosh Shahrabani & Amiram Gafni & Uri Ben-Zion, 2008. "Low Flu Shot Rates Puzzle—Some Plausible Behavioral Explanations," The American Economist, Sage Publications, vol. 52(1), pages 66-72, March.
    14. Chris Papageorgiou & Petia Stoytcheva, 2005. "What Do We Know About the Impact of AIDS on Cross-Country Income So Far?," Departmental Working Papers 2005-01, Department of Economics, Louisiana State University.
    15. Adeline Delavande & Hans-Peter Kohler, 2009. "Subjective expectations in the context of HIV/AIDS in Malawi," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 20(31), pages 817-875.
    16. David Aadland & David Finnoff & Kevin X. D. Huang, 2016. "Behavioral Origins of Epidemiological Bifurcations," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 16-00004, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    17. Toxvaerd, F. & Rowthorn, R., 2020. "On the Management of Population Immunity," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 2080, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
    18. David E. Bloom & Michael Kuhn & Klaus Prettner, 2020. "Modern Infectious Diseases: Macroeconomic Impacts and Policy Responses," NBER Working Papers 27757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. David Aadland & David Finnoff & Kevin x.d. Huang, 2013. "The Equilibrium Dynamics of Economic Epidemiology," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 13-00003, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
    20. Sakai, Yutaro, 2018. "The Vaccination Kuznets Curve: Do vaccination rates rise and fall with income?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 195-205.
    21. Adeline Delavande & Dana Goldman & Neeraj Sood, 2010. "Criminal Prosecution and Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Related Risky Behavior," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 53(4), pages 741-782.
    22. Sims, Charles & Finnoff, David & O’Regan, Suzanne M., 2016. "Public control of rational and unpredictable epidemics," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PB), pages 161-176.
    23. M. Ceddia, 2012. "Optimal Disease Eradication in Sympatric Metapopulations," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 52(4), pages 499-530, August.
    24. 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.
    25. Stéphane Mechoulan, 2006. "Risky Sexual Behavior, Testing and New HIV Treatments," Working Papers tecipa-239, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    epidemiology; AIDS; uncertainty;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty

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