Modeling Self-Protective Behaviors Against Infectious Disease: Estimates of Prevalence Elasticity for Malaria

Posted: 22 Jun 2007

See all articles by Subhrendu K. Pattanayak

Subhrendu K. Pattanayak

Research Triangle Institute - Center for Economics Research (CER)

Christine Poulos

RTI International - Headquarters - Research Triangle Park

George Van Houtven

Research Triangle Institute - Center for Economics Research (CER)

Jui-Chen Yang

RTI International

Kelly Jones Wendland

Conservation International

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

Vector-borne disease such as malaria, dengue, and diarrhea that are spread by vectors such as mosquitoes and flies are rife in the much of the developing world, potentially impacting more than two-third of the world's population. Economic epidemiology (EE) applies the economic methods originally designed to model market exchanges and adapts them to examine the "non-market" exchanges that underpin the development, spread, and control of infections and diseases. In Philipson's (2000) introduction to EE, he focuses on the critical role of private preventive behaviors in suggesting that public health interventions will be self-limiting. In adapting EE to explore its implications for vector-borne disease, Gersovitz and Hammer (2003) highlight the critical role of prevention and infection externalities and conclude that public intervention is critical. To address this ambiguity regarding the appropriate role for public health interventions, we present the first tests and measures of the relationship between the demand for prevention and disease prevalence, e.g., the prevalence elasticity of demand for prevention. Measuring prevalence elasticity is important because (1) changes in protective behaviors against infectious diseases will alter the rate of transmission and therefore affect the dynamics of disease; and (2) these behaviors involve economics costs, they affect the welfare of the affected population. This paper presents three empirical applications. The first combines data from four different sources to analyze the relationship between malaria prevalence and malaria prevention at the country level. The second and third use cross-sectional microeconomic datasets on malaria prevention and malaria prevalence in Ethiopia and India. These analyses provide consistent evidence supporting the predictions of economic epidemiology models for both malaria and diarrhea. The final part of the paper discusses some of the implications for research and policy.

Keywords: economic epidemiology, malaria prevention, micro-economic model

Suggested Citation

Pattanayak, Subhrendu K. and Poulos, Christine and van Houtven, George and Yang, Jui-Chen and Jones Wendland, Kelly, Modeling Self-Protective Behaviors Against Infectious Disease: Estimates of Prevalence Elasticity for Malaria (2007). iHEA 2007 6th World Congress: Explorations in Health Economics Paper, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=994743

Subhrendu K. Pattanayak

Research Triangle Institute - Center for Economics Research (CER) ( email )

3040 Cornwallis Road
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2194
United States
(919) 541-7355 (Phone)
(919) 541-6683 (Fax)

Christine Poulos (Contact Author)

RTI International - Headquarters - Research Triangle Park ( email )

3040 Cornwallis Road
P.O. Box 12194
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709
United States

George Van Houtven

Research Triangle Institute - Center for Economics Research (CER) ( email )

3040 Cornwallis Road
Research Triangle Park, NC 27709-2194
United States

Jui-Chen Yang

RTI International ( email )

3040 Cornwallis Road
RTP, NC 27709
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.rti.org

Kelly Jones Wendland

Conservation International ( email )

Antananarivo 101, 20036
Madagascar

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