Learning Epidemiology by Doing: The Empirical Implications of a Spatial Sir Model with Behavioral Responses

36 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2020 Last revised: 23 Jun 2020

See all articles by Alberto Bisin

Alberto Bisin

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics; New York University (NYU) - Center for Experimental Social Science (CESS); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Andrea Moro

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics

Date Written: June 22, 2020

Abstract

We simulate a spatial behavioral model of the diffusion of an infection to understand the role of geographical characteristics: the number and distribution of outbreaks, population size, density, and agents' movements. We show that several invariance properties of the SIR model with respect to these variables do not hold when agents are placed in a (two dimensional) geographical space. Indeed, local herd immunity plays a fundamental role in changing the dynamics of the infection. We also show that geographical factors affect how behavioral responses affect the epidemics. We derive relevant implications for the estimation of epidemiological models with panel data from several geographical units.

Note: Funding: None to declare

Declaration of Interest: None to declare

Keywords: COVID-19, Spatial-SIR, SIR, Behavioral responses, Infection dynamics

JEL Classification: I1, C63, C52

Suggested Citation

Bisin, Alberto and Moro, Andrea, Learning Epidemiology by Doing: The Empirical Implications of a Spatial Sir Model with Behavioral Responses (June 22, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3625361 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3625361

Alberto Bisin

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics

14 West 4th Street
New York, NY 10012
United States

New York University (NYU) - Center for Experimental Social Science (CESS) ( email )

One Washington Place
New York, NY 10003
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Andrea Moro (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University - College of Arts and Science - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States

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