Behavioural and Social Responses Towards Pandemics Control: new positive and normative approaches to emerging diseases

by Jérôme Adda in collaboration with CNRS-Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne and Université Aix-Marseille 

This project aims to provide a comparative cost-effectiveness analysis (CEA) of public policies undertaken in real-life conditions during the Covid-19 epidemic in France. We are comparing three main measures: i) confinement measures ii) testing with a specific focus on undocumented infections iii) the so-called “barrier gestures”. To do so we build a theoretical model of disease diffusion, individual and public decisions. We test the model using quasi-experimental variation during the outbreak to evaluate the respective importance of policies and the timing of their implementation.

Including individual trade-offs, learning, and externalities under uncertainty is the main added value of economics in this field of research. Our theoretical model will aim at quantifying the role of undocumented infections during the outbreak. Our focus is on individual behaviors under belief-based uncertainty and the learning adaptive process during the outbreak. Our project will estimate the relative cost-effectiveness of policy measures, while taking uncertainty and learning into account. Data on infections will be combined with specific events such as school closure, transports limitation, public announcements dates on compulsory confinement and information campaigns. The project should provide mathematically and empirically validated predictions that will allow a better management of future crises in situations of uncertainty and a better understanding of the current crisis