Covid and Social Distancing with a Heterogenous Population

Discussion paper KDPE 2002 by Miltiadis Makris (University of Kent), April 2020.

Abstract

Motivated by the current coronavirus epidemic, we analyse a SIR model of an epidemic but with endogenous social distancing and calibrate it to UK data to study various hypothetical scenarios of government intervention regarding social distancing. We explicitly take into account that (a) there is heterogeneity among the population in terms of infection-induced fatality rates and thereby private decisions on social distancing, and that (b), due to limited resources available for health services, mortality rates may depend on the stock of infected people who become seriously ill because of the infection.

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