I am looking for some papers/references that showcase theoretical economic models that incorporate pandemics. Most work seem to be purely empirical. Does anyone know of some papers that try to model effect of pandemics on economy/economic behavior analytically?


Some of the theoretical papers that I managed to find with helpful suggestion of kurtosis to include SIR & SEIR in search include:

Daron Acemoglu et al (2020), Optimal Targeted Lockdowns In A Multi-Group SIR Model

Eichenbaum, Martin S., Sergio Rebelo, and Mathias Trabandt. The macroeconomics of epidemics.

Any further suggestions are still welcome

  • $\begingroup$ There’s been a boatload of articles published. Google scholar “economics epidemiology 2020” will start you off. $\endgroup$ Aug 7 '20 at 16:16
  • $\begingroup$ @BrianRomanchuk thanks for suggestion but that does not help that much since most of those papers are still empirical. Looking at google scholar was first thing I tried. Of course, I did not examine every single entry there is out there thats why I put it here as a question in hope that someone here is working/interested in that field and will be able to recommend some papers $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Aug 7 '20 at 16:45
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It helps to know that the classic epidemiology models for epidemics are SIR or SEIR models. Search on "economics epidemiology 2020 sir seir" and you will get theoretical and theoretically-informed models. $\endgroup$
    – kurtosis
    Aug 7 '20 at 20:39
  • $\begingroup$ @kurtosis thanks for helpful suggestion I will definitely do that. Do you by any chance have also some recommendations about some seminal works in this area? $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Aug 7 '20 at 21:08
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    $\begingroup$ No, sadly not. I studied SIR and SEIR models when I got my PhD, but I don't do health economics so I would not have good resources. However, the papers I saw on Scholar included some recent work by Acemoglu and Chenozukov, so I suspect those papers will quickly point you in the right direction. $\endgroup$
    – kurtosis
    Aug 7 '20 at 21:20

Many links at


(MR is Tyler Cohen's blog. There isn't much else to say, but my reply needs to be at least 30 characters long.)

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks, (+1) although it is more of an purely epidemiological model rather than an economic model that models pandemic it actually helps because I can imagine few ways how this could be incorporated in a more economic model so the answer is actually quite useful to me nonetheless $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Aug 9 '20 at 11:41
  • $\begingroup$ Then I would recommend to search the NBER working paper database for pandemic or covid. Most papers are still empirical, but see for example or this. $\endgroup$ Aug 9 '20 at 12:08
  • $\begingroup$ thanks that paper is also helpful $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Aug 9 '20 at 12:22

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