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How the Swine Flu Epidemic Spread: Understanding the Data with an Equilibrium Vigilance Model

A/Professor Jussi Keppo Department of Decision Sciences, NUS Business School

Date:08 February 2017, Wednesday

Location:S16-06-118, DSAP Seminar Room

Time: 03:00pm - 04:00pm


Contagious diseases are passed on when contagious and susceptible individuals meet. This paper introduces and explores a new matching game, characterized by individuals meeting pairwise, possibly unwittingly passing along a disease in a contagion-like fashion. We assume that individuals can expend costly effort to avoid acquiring it. In this population game, efforts are strategic substitutes: The harder other individuals try, the more lax one can be. We solve for the unique Nash equilibrium when individuals are heterogeneous. We then estimate this structural model and show that it improves on the explanation of the data without endogenous behaviour. (joint work with Elena Quercioli, and Lones Smith)