A model of reporting and controlling outbreaks by public health agencies
Alexander E. Saak () and
Additional contact information
Alexander E. Saak: International Food Policy Research Institute
Economic Theory, 2018, vol. 66, issue 1, 21-64
Abstract We study a model of detection and control of an infectious disease by local health agencies in the presence of imperfect information about the likelihood of an outbreak and limited diagnostic capacity that is insufficient to determine the prevalence of disease in all localities in a timely manner. When shared diagnostic capacity is rationed based on reports of symptoms, the decision to report symptoms or not creates a trade-off. On the one hand, rigorous testing of one’s locality allows the health agency in that locality to make an informed disease control decision. On the other hand, reducing the availability of diagnostic capacity for the other localities increases the probability that the disease will spread from an untested area where the disease is not controlled in the absence of more evidence of an outbreak. Symptoms are over-reported (respectively, reported truthfully, or under-reported) when the cost of disease control is sufficiently small (respectively, in some intermediate range, or sufficiently large). The rates of reporting suspicions decrease as the cost of disease control increases because the localities remain exposed more often and the health agencies prefer to reduce the risk of disease transmission by letting other agencies become informed. If the disease incidence decreases or infectiousness increases, symptoms are reported less frequently. If the precision of private signals increases, the extent of over-reporting of symptoms may increase. For different values of the parameters it can be socially optimal to subsidize or tax requests for additional investigations and confirmatory testing.
Keywords: Cheap talk; Infectious disease; Private information; Public health agency; Testing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D23 D62 D73 D83 L23 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
Citations: Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s00199-017-1053-0 Abstract (text/html)
Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted.
Working Paper: A model of reporting and controlling outbreaks by public health agencies (2016)
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:spr:joecth:v:66:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s00199-017-1053-0
Ordering information: This journal article can be ordered from
http://www.springer. ... eory/journal/199/PS2
Access Statistics for this article
Economic Theory is currently edited by Nichoals Yanneils
More articles in Economic Theory from Springer, Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET) Contact information at EDIRC.
Bibliographic data for series maintained by Sonal Shukla ().