UBC Math Bio Seminar: Troy Day

  • Date: 04/19/2023
  • Time: 14:00
Troy Day, Queen's University

University of British Columbia


The Epidemiology and Economics of Physical Distancing during Infectious Disease Outbreaks


In this talk I will present a model of how individuals’ and politicians’ incentives to use physical distancing change during an infectious disease outbreak. I show that there is a fundamental difference in the expected behaviour depending on the degree of asymptomatic transmission. If transmission occurs primarily by asymptomatic carriers, then individuals are incentivized to delay physical distancing longer than politicians would like. On the other hand, if the disease is transmitted primarily by symptomatic infections, then individuals are incentivized to being distancing sooner than politicians would like. Despite this conflict in incentives, large-scale coordinated implementation of physical distancing nevertheless ultimately benefits everyone more than if individuals were left to act on their own personal incentives.


This is joint work with David McAdams, Fuqua School of Business and Economics Department, Duke University.

Other Information: 

Location: ESB 4133

Time: 2pm Pacific