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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Politics and the pump handle: The international political economy of emerging infectious diseases
by Michaud, Joshua, Ph.D., The Johns Hopkins University, 2009, 356; 3381664
Abstract (Summary)

This dissertation examines the problem of the emergence of new human infectious diseases from an interdisciplinary perspective. I apply concepts and tools from international relations, economics, and epidemiology to understand the threat that emerging infectious diseases (EIDs) pose globally, and to gauge the level to which the international system provides key global public goods (GPGs) required to effectively counter the EID threat. Using lessons from four case study EIDs (H5N1 “avian” influenza, SARS, HIV/AIDS, and multi-drug resistant tuberculosis), I build game theory models of country-level decision-making on: (1) investment in surveillance for early disease detection, (2) international reporting of EID events, and (3) EID containment and response measures. I find each of these GPGs can be considered a collective action problem, but that underlying each is coordination game. In each of these activities, all countries are better off under a system of cooperation and full provision of the GPGs, but without adequate trust and robust international institutions, country decisions which are individually rational but made in an anarchic international system lead to a globally inefficient outcome. The principal problem for developing international institutions to support EID surveillance, reporting, and response is in moving countries from the individually rational equilibrium to what is the mutually preferred outcome.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Barrett, Scott
School: The Johns Hopkins University
School Location: United States -- Maryland
Source: DAI-A 70/10, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Economics, International law, Epidemiology, International Affairs
Keywords: Emerging infectious diseases, Game theory, HIV/AIDS, Infectious diseases, International political economy, Political economy, SARS, Severe acute respiratory syndrome
Publication Number: 3381664
ISBN: 978-1-109-42683-0
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