8 Jun 2011 12:45pm - 2:00pm CRASSH


Part of the CRASSH Fellows Work-in-Progress seminar series.  All welcome, no registration necessary.  Sandwich lunch and refreshments provided.

   Dr Flavio Toxvaerd (Economics, Clare College)
   CRASSH Early Career Fellow Easter 2011
   The Economics of Infectious Disease
   Email: fmot2@cam.ac.uk

The polymath Daniel Bernoulli (1700-1782) made path-breaking contributions to the fields of economics and epidemiology. While they developed as wholly separate scientific disciplines, an interesting cross-fertilisation has recently taken place. Within epidemiology, researchers have recognized that economic thinking can be useful in the analysis of various important problems such as disease control (e.g. immunisation or the encouragement of protective behaviour) and forecasting the evolution of epidemics.

This is an exciting new branch of economics that is not only interesting at a theoretical level but also holds the promise of benefiting practical work on disease control. The control of commutable diseases is of first order importance and as such squarely belongs to the domain of public policy and public economics. I intend to delve further into this fertile ground of interdisciplinary research and contribute to both the academic literature and the associated policy debate.

Specific questions that can be fruitfully answered by use of the economics toolbox are questions such as:

• What is the optimal design of vaccination programmes? Should vaccination be voluntary or mandatory?
• What is the optimal allocation of scarce resources to battle infectious diseases? Should we concentrate on treatment or on protection?
• How does individual behaviour influence the rate at which STDs spread? How can individual behaviour be influenced through public policy?


About Flavio Toxvaerd

Flavio Toxvaerd is a University Lecturer at the Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Clare College. He is also a Research Affiliate of the Centre for Economic Policy Research. His research is on microeconomics, game theory, corporate finance, industrial organisation and regulation. Recently, he has started working on games of infection. 





For administrative enquiries and a link to the readings please contact Michelle Maciejewska. 


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