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Syphilis Cycles

Author

Listed:
  • David Aadland

    (Department of Economics and Finance, University of Wyoming)

  • David Finnoff

    (Department of Economics and Finance, University of Wyoming)

  • Kevin X.D. Huang

    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

Abstract

Syphilis has re-emerged as a global public health issue. In lesser developed countries, millions of people are contracting the disease, which can be fatal without access to proper treatment. In developed countries, prevalence is on the rise and has cycled around endemic levels for decades. We investigate syphilis dynamics by extending the classic SIRS epidemiological model to incorporate forward-looking, rational individuals and the AIDS epidemic. The integrated economic-epidemiological model shows that human preferences over health and sexual activity are central to the nature of syphilis cycles. We find that low-activity individuals will behave in a manner that significantly dampen the cycles, while high-activity individuals will tend to exacerbate the cycles, a phenomenon we refer to as rational dynamic resonance. The model also provides insights into two failed attempts by the U.S. government to eradicate syphilis from the U.S. population.

Suggested Citation

  • David Aadland & David Finnoff & Kevin X.D. Huang, 2010. "Syphilis Cycles," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 1006, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:1006
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    Blog mentions

    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Syphilis cannot be eradicated
      by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-12-20 21:52:00

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    Cited by:

    1. 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.
    2. Nicholas W. Papageorge, 2021. "Modeling Behavior during a Pandemic: Using HIV as an Historical Analogy," NBER Working Papers 28898, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Toxvaerd, Flavio, 2010. "Recurrent Infection and Externalities in Prevention," CEPR Discussion Papers 8112, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Horan, Richard D. & Fenichel, Eli P. & Finnoff, David & Wolf, Christopher A., 2015. "Managing dynamic epidemiological risks through trade," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 192-207.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    syphilis; AIDS; disease; eradication; cycles; fatalism; dynamic resonance; SIRS;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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    1. Economic Logic blog

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