Decentralized governance may lead to higher infection levels and sub-optimal releases of quarantines amid the COVID-19 pandemic

Adam Lampert*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The outbreak of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has led countries worldwide to administer quarantine policies. However, each country or state independently decides what mobility restrictions to administer within its borders while aiming to maximize its own citizens' welfare. Since individuals travel between countries and states, the policy in one country affects the infection levels in other countries. Therefore, a major question is whether the policies dictated by multiple governments could be efficient. Here we focus on the decision regarding the timing of releasing quarantines, which were common during the first year of the pandemic. We consider a game-theoretical epidemiological model in which each government decides when to switch from a restrictive to a non-restrictive quarantine and vice versa. We show that, if travel between countries is frequent, then the policy dictated by multiple governments is suboptimal. But if international travel is restricted, then the policy may become optimal.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numbere0279106
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume17
Issue number12 December
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 Adam Lampert. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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