Modeling the interplay between epidemics and regional socio-economics

05/14/2021
by   Jan E. Snellman, et al.
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In this study we present a dynamical agent-based model to investigate the interplay between the socio-economy of and SEIRS-type epidemic spreading over a geographical area, divided to smaller area districts and further to smallest area cells. The model treats the populations of cells and authorities of districts as agents, such that the former can reduce their economic activity and the latter can recommend economic activity reduction both with the overall goal to slow down the epidemic spreading. The agents make decisions with the aim of attaining as high social positions as possible relative to other agents. They evaluate their social positions based on the local and regional infection rates, compliance to the authorities' regulations, regional drops in economic activity, and the efforts they make to mitigate the spread of epidemic. We find that the willingness of populations to comply with authorities' recommendations has the most drastic effect to the spreading of epidemic: periodic waves spread almost unimpeded in non-compliant populations, while in compliant ones the spread is minimal with a chaotic spreading pattern and significantly lower infection rates. Health and economic concerns of agents turned out to have lesser roles, the former increasing their efforts and the latter decreasing them.

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