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Optimal disease eradication

  • SCOTT BARRETT (a1) and MICHAEL HOEL (a2)

Abstract

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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We are grateful to Atle Seierstad for helpful discussions and to two anonymous reviewers for comments on an earlier version of this paper.

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Optimal disease eradication

  • SCOTT BARRETT (a1) and MICHAEL HOEL (a2)

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