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.
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.