Quarantine, Contact Tracing, and Testing: Implications of an Augmented SEIR Model
The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, 2022, vol. 22, issue 1, 53-88
I incorporate quarantine, contact tracing, and random testing in the basic SEIR model of infectious disease diffusion. A version of the model that is calibrated to known characteristics of the spread of COVID-19 is used to estimate the transmission rate of COVID-19 in the United States in 2020. The transmission rate is then decomposed into a part that reflects observable changes in employment and social contacts, and a residual component that reflects disease properties and all other factors that affect the spread of the disease. I then construct counterfactuals for an alternative employment path that avoids the sharp employment decline in the second quarter of 2020, but also results in higher cumulative deaths due to a higher contact rate. For the simulations a modest permanent increase of quarantine effectiveness counteracts the increase in deaths, and the introduction of contact tracing and random testing further reduces deaths, although at a diminishing rate. Using a conservative assumption on the statistical value of life, the value of improved health outcomes from the alternative policies far outweighs the economic gains in terms of increased output and the potential fiscal costs of these policies.
Keywords: SEIR infectious disease model; quarantine; testing; fatalities; employment; cost-benefit (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.
Working Paper: Quarantine, Contact Tracing, and Testing: Implications of an Augmented SEIR Model (2021)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:bpj:bejmac:v:22:y:2022:i:1:p:53-88:n:3
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
Access Statistics for this article
The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics is currently edited by Arpad Abraham and Tiago Cavalcanti
More articles in The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics from De Gruyter
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Peter Golla ().