School of Economics

Economic models used to analyse the spread of an epidemic

Robert Zymek has published a new short paper on how modelling tricks from trade economics can be used to analyse the spread of an epidemic, and the impact of quarantines.

tracking covid

Written in collaboration with co-author Alejandro Cuñat (University of Vienna), the paper combines a simple epidemiological framework with a dynamic model of individual location choice. By applying data from Great Britain they use this framework to provide a rationale for quarantines; offer a clear mapping of the spread of a disease; and make it possible to evaluate the welfare impact of (expected and unexpected) mobility restrictions in the face of a deadly epidemic.

The study highlights how economic models can be used during the COVID pandemic in order to analyse jointly the economic and public-health impacts of different government interventions.

We demonstrate that the model can be readily applied to real-world data, and captures the fundamental welfare trade-off between mobility restrictions and disease control in a fully microfounded fashion.

Read the full paper here.