The Blossoming of Economic Epidemiology

Journal Article (Review;Journal)

Infectious diseases, ideas, new products, and other infectants spread in epidemic fashion through social contact. The COVID-19 pandemic, the proliferation of fake news, and the rise of antimicrobial resistance have thrust economic epidemiology into the forefront of public policy debate and reinvigorated the field. Focusing for concreteness on disease-causing pathogens, this review provides a taxonomy of economic-epidemic models, emphasizing both the biology/immunology of the disease and the economics of the social context. An economic epidemic is one whose diffusion through the agent population is generated by agents' endogenous behavior. I highlight properties of the equilibrium epidemic trajectory and discuss ways in which public health authorities can change the game for the better by (a) imposing restrictions on agent activity to reduce the harm done during a viral outbreak and (b) enabling diagnostic-informed interventions to slow or even reverse the rise of antibiotic resistance.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • McAdams, D

Published Date

  • January 1, 2021

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 13 /

Start / End Page

  • 539 - 570

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1941-1391

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1941-1383

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1146/annurev-economics-082120-122900

Citation Source

  • Scopus