Antibody Tests: They are More Important than We Thought

33 Pages Posted: 7 Jul 2020

See all articles by Luis Guimaraes

Luis Guimaraes

Queen's University Belfast - Queen's Management School

Date Written: July 1, 2020

Abstract

Antibody testing is a non-pharmaceutical intervention - not recognised so far in the literature - to prevent COVID-19 contagion. I show this in a simple economic model of an epidemic in which agents choose social activity under health state uncertainty. In the model, susceptible agents are more socially active when they think they might be immune. And this increased activity escalates infections, deaths, and welfare losses. Antibody testing, however, prevents this escalation by revealing that susceptible agents are not immune. Through this mechanism, in exercises calibrated to the UK, I find that antibody testing can save about 8% of COVID-19 related deaths within 12 months.

Keywords: COVID-19, Antibody Tests, Health State Uncertainty, Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions

JEL Classification: D62; E17; I12; I18

Suggested Citation

Guimaraes, Luis, Antibody Tests: They are More Important than We Thought (July 1, 2020). QMS Research Paper 2020/07, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3640105 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3640105

Luis Guimaraes (Contact Author)

Queen's University Belfast - Queen's Management School ( email )

Riddel Hall
185 Stranmillis Road
Belfast, BT9 5EE
United Kingdom

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
46
Abstract Views
270
PlumX Metrics