Economic Theory Seminar

Self-isolation under uncertainty

Chantal Marlats (University Paris 2 Panthéon-Assas)

Jan 27, 2023, 12:00

Room 2E30, ENS Paris-Saclay



We analyze an epidemiological model where forward-looking individuals trade off the costs and benefits of social activity.  We depart from the existing literature by assuming that individuals are uncertain about the dynamics of the epidemic. We characterize the unique symmetric equilibrium and the efficient isolation policy. We calibrate our model to the COVID-19 pandemic and simulate the dynamics of the epidemic under various scenarios to illustrate the impact of uncertainty on self-isolation behaviors. We show that uncertainty can cause a second wave of infection and that the average level of social activity can be lower under uncertainty. Finally, uncertainty about the epidemic dynamics can be welfare improving, both in terms of number of deaths and average payoff.

Joint work with Dominique Baril-Tremblay and Lucie Ménager.

More information

Room 2E30
ENS Paris-Saclay
4 avenue des Sciences, 91190 Gif-sur-Yvette