Biosecurity and Infectious Animal Disease

David A. Hennessy
November 2005  [05-WP 413]

The spatial dimension of agricultural production is important when a communicable disease enters a region. This paper considers two sorts of biosecurity risk that producers can seek to protect against. One concerns the risk of spread: that neighboring producers do not take due care in protecting against being infected by a disease already in the region. In this case, producer efforts substitute with those of near neighbors. For representative spatial production structures, we characterize Nash equilibrium protection levels and show how spatial production structure matters. The other sort of risk concerns entry: that producers do not take due care in preventing the disease from entering the region. In this case, producer heterogeneity has subtle effects on welfare loss due to strategic behavior. Efforts by producers complement, suggesting that inter-farm communication will help to redress the problem.

Keywords: circle and line topologies, complements and substitutes, epidemic, public good.

JEL classification: D20, H4, Q1

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