FEEM working papers "Note di lavoro" series
2004 .050

Optimal Disease Eradication

Authors: Michael Hoel, Scott Barrett
Series: Climate Change and Sustainable Development
Editor: Carlo Carraro
Type: Journal
Keywords: eradication of infectious diseases,vaccination,control theory,cost-benefit analysis,poliomyelitis
JEL n.: D61;H41;I18
JEL: Environment and Development Economics, 12
Pages: pp. 627-652
Date: 2007


Using a dynamic model of the control of an infectious disease, we derive the conditions under which eradication will be optimal. When eradication is feasible, the optimal program requires either a low vaccination rate or eradication. A high vaccination rate is never optimal. Under special conditions, the results are especially stark: the optimal policy is either not to vaccinate at all or to eradicate. Our analysis yields a cost-benefit rule for eradication, which we apply to the current initiative to eradicate polio.

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