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Modeling the Covid‐19 epidemic using time series econometrics

Adam Golinski and Peter Spencer

Health Economics, 2021, vol. 30, issue 11, 2808-2828

Abstract: The classic “logistic” model has provided a realistic model of the behaviour of Covid‐19 in China and many East Asian countries. Once these countries passed the peak, the daily case count fell back, mirroring its initial climb in a symmetric way, just as the classic model predicts. However, in Italy and Spain and most other Western countries, the first wave of the epidemic was very different. The daily count fell back gradually from the peak but remained stubbornly high. The reason for the divergence from the classical model remain unclear. We take an empirical stance on this issue and develop a model framework based upon the statistical characteristics of the time series. With the possible exception of China, the workhorse logistic model is decisively rejected against more flexible alternatives.

Date: 2021
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