Publications by authors named "Richard D Horan"

11 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Chronic wasting disease undermines efforts to control the spread of brucellosis in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.

Ecol Appl 2020 09 5;30(6):e02129. Epub 2020 May 5.

Department of Veterinary Sciences, College of Agriculture & Natural Resources, University of Wyoming, 1174 Snowy Range Road, Laramie, Wyoming, 82070, USA.

Wildlife diseases pose a substantial threat to the provisioning of ecosystem services. We use a novel modeling approach to study the potential loss of these services through the imminent introduction of chronic wasting disease (CWD) to elk populations in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). A specific concern is that concentrating elk at feedgrounds may exacerbate the spread of CWD, whereas eliminating feedgrounds may increase the number of elk on private ranchlands and the transmission of a second disease, brucellosis, from elk to cattle. To evaluate the consequences of management strategies given the threat of two concurrent wildlife diseases, we develop a spatiotemporal bioeconomic model. GPS data from elk and landscape attributes are used to predict migratory behavior and population densities with and without supplementary feeding. We use a 4,800 km area around Pinedale, Wyoming containing four existing feedgrounds as a case study. For this area, we simulate welfare estimates under a variety of management strategies. Our results indicate that continuing to feed elk could result in substantial welfare losses for the case-study region. Therefore, to maximize the present value of economic net benefits generated by the local elk population upon CWD's arrival in the region, wildlife managers may wish to consider discontinuing elk feedgrounds while simultaneously developing new methods to mitigate the financial impact to ranchers of possible brucellosis transmission to livestock. More generally, our methods can be used to weigh the costs and benefits of human-wildlife interactions in the presence of multiple disease risks.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/eap.2129DOI Listing
September 2020

Economic Incentives for Managing Filterable Biological Pollution Risks from Trade.

Environ Resour Econ (Dordr) 2018 Jul 17;70(3):651-671. Epub 2017 May 17.

Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan USA.

Infectious livestock disease problems are "biological pollution" problems. Prior work on biological pollution problems generally examines the efficient allocation of prevention and control efforts, but does not identify the specific externalities underpinning the design of efficiency-enhancing policy instruments. Prior analyses also focus on problems where those being damaged do not contribute to externalities. We examine a problem where the initial biological introduction harms the importer and then others are harmed by spread from this importer. Here, the externality is the spread of infection beyond the initial importer. This externality is influenced by the importer's private risk management choices, which provide impure public goods that reduce disease spillovers to others-making disease spread a "filterable externality." We derive efficient policy incentives to internalize filterable disease externalities given uncertainties about introduction and spread. We find efficiency requires incentivizing an importer's trade choices along with self-protection and abatement efforts, in contrast to prior work that targets trade alone. Perhaps surprisingly, we find these incentives increase with importers' private risk management incentives and with their ability to directly protect others. In cases where importers can spread infection to each other, we find filterable externalities may lead to multiple Nash equilibria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10640-017-0160-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6191061PMC
July 2018

The Economic Case for a Pandemic Fund.

Ecohealth 2018 06 21;15(2):244-258. Epub 2018 May 21.

EcoHealth Alliance, New York, NY, 10001, USA.

The rapid urban spread of Ebola virus in West Africa in 2014 and consequent breakdown of control measures led to a significant economic impact as well as the burden on public health and wellbeing. The US government appropriated $5.4 Billion for FY2015 and WHO proposed a $100 Million emergency fund largely to curtail the threat of future outbreaks. Using epidemiological analyses and economic modeling, we propose that the best use of these and similar funds would be to serve as global insurance against the continued threat of emerging infectious diseases. An effective strategy would involve the initial investment in strengthening mobile and adaptable capacity to deal with the threat and reality of disease emergence, coupled with repeated investment to maintain what is effectively a 'national guard' for pandemic prevention and response. This investment would create a capital stock that could also provide access to safe treatment during and between crises in developing countries, lowering risk to developed countries.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10393-018-1338-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7087994PMC
June 2018

Managing Disease Risks from Trade: Strategic Behavior with Many Choices and Price Effects.

Ecohealth 2018 06 16;15(2):259-273. Epub 2018 Mar 16.

Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, 446 West Circle Drive, Room 303B, Justin S. Morrill Hall of Agriculture, East Lansing, MI, 48824-1039, USA.

An individual's infectious disease risks, and hence the individual's incentives for risk mitigation, may be influenced by others' risk management choices. If so, then there will be strategic interactions among individuals, whereby each makes his or her own risk management decisions based, at least in part, on the expected decisions of others. Prior work has shown that multiple equilibria could arise in this setting, with one equilibrium being a coordination failure in which individuals make too few investments in protection. However, these results are largely based on simplified models involving a single management choice and fixed prices that may influence risk management incentives. Relaxing these assumptions, we find strategic interactions influence, and are influenced by, choices involving multiple management options and market price effects. In particular, we find these features can reduce or eliminate concerns about multiple equilibria and coordination failure. This has important policy implications relative to simpler models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10393-018-1329-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6129211PMC
June 2018

Managing Wildlife Faced with Pathogen Risks Involving Multi-Stable Outcomes.

Environ Resour Econ (Dordr) 2018 13;70(3):713-730. Epub 2018 Feb 13.

2Department of Economics and Finance, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY USA.

Most models designed to understand how to manage infected wildlife systems with bioeconomic multi-stability take the initial conditions as given, thereby treating pathogen invasion as unanticipated. We examine how management is an opportunity to influence the conditions, which in turn affect the optimal outcome. To capture these management choices, we extend the Poisson "collapse" model of Reed and Heras (Bull Math Biol 54:185-207, 1992) to allow for endogenous initial conditions and multi-stability. We account for two uncertain processes: the introduction and establishment of the pathogen. Introduction is conditional on anthropogenic investments in prevention, and both random processes are conditional on how we manage the native population to provide natural prevention of invasion and natural insurance against establishment placing the system in an undesirable basin of attraction. We find that both multi-stability of the invaded system and these uncertainty processes can create economic non-convexities that yield multiple candidate solutions to the optimization problem. Additionally, we illustrate how the nature of natural protection against introduction and establishment risks can play an important role in the allocation of anthropogenic investments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10640-018-0227-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7087664PMC
February 2018

Managing dynamic epidemiological risks through trade.

J Econ Dyn Control 2015 Apr;53:192-207

Michigan State University, Department of Agricultural, Food and Resource Economics, Morrill Agriculture Hall, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA.

There is growing concern that trade, by connecting geographically isolated regions, unintentionally facilitates the spread of invasive pathogens and pests - forms of biological pollution that pose significant risks to ecosystem and human health. We use a bioeconomic framework to examine whether trade always increases private risks, focusing specifically on pathogen risks from live animal trade. When the pathogens have already established and traders bear some private risk, we find two results that run counter to the conventional wisdom on trade. First, uncertainty about the disease status of individual animals held in inventory may the incentives to trade relative to the disease-free case. Second, trade may facilitate long-run disease prevalence among buyers. These results arise because disease risks are endogenous due to dynamic feedback processes involving valuable inventories, and markets facilitate the management of private risks that producers face with or without trade.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jedc.2015.02.005DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4404753PMC
April 2015

Managing the Endogenous Risk of Disease Outbreaks with Non-Constant Background Risk.

J Econ Dyn Control 2015 Feb 2;51:166-179. Epub 2014 Oct 2.

University of Wyoming, Department of Economics and Finance, 1000 E University Avenue Laramie, Wyoming 82071. Finnoff) (307)766-5430 (Shogren).

There is a growing concern that risks of disease outbreak and pandemics are increasing over time. We consider optimal investments in prevention before an outbreak using an endogenous risk approach within an optimal control setting. Using the threat of pandemic influenza as an illustrative example, we demonstrate that prevention expenditures are relatively small in comparison to the potential losses facing the USA, and these expenditures need to be flexible and responsive to changes in background risk. Failure to adjust these expenditures to changes in background risk poses a significant threat to social welfare into the future.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jedc.2014.09.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5026245PMC
February 2015

Merging economics and epidemiology to improve the prediction and management of infectious disease.

Ecohealth 2014 Dec 19;11(4):464-75. Epub 2014 Sep 19.

School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 85287, USA,

Mathematical epidemiology, one of the oldest and richest areas in mathematical biology, has significantly enhanced our understanding of how pathogens emerge, evolve, and spread. Classical epidemiological models, the standard for predicting and managing the spread of infectious disease, assume that contacts between susceptible and infectious individuals depend on their relative frequency in the population. The behavioral factors that underpin contact rates are not generally addressed. There is, however, an emerging a class of models that addresses the feedbacks between infectious disease dynamics and the behavioral decisions driving host contact. Referred to as "economic epidemiology" or "epidemiological economics," the approach explores the determinants of decisions about the number and type of contacts made by individuals, using insights and methods from economics. We show how the approach has the potential both to improve predictions of the course of infectious disease, and to support development of novel approaches to infectious disease management.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10393-014-0963-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4366543PMC
December 2014

Reforming agricultural nonpoint pollution policy in an increasingly budget-constrained environment.

Environ Sci Technol 2012 Feb 27;46(3):1316-25. Epub 2012 Jan 27.

Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, 112 Armsby Building, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802-5600, United States.

Agricultural nonpoint source water pollution has long been recognized as an important contributor to U.S. water quality problems and the subject of an array of local, state, and federal initiatives to reduce the problem. A "pay-the-polluter" approach to getting farmers to adopt best management practices has not succeeded in improving water quality in many impaired watersheds. With the prospects of reduced funding for the types of financial and technical assistance programs that have been the mainstay of agricultural water quality policy, alternative approaches need to be considered. Some changes to the way current conservation programs are implemented could increase their efficiency, but there are limits to how effective a purely voluntary approach can be. An alternative paradigm is the "polluter pays" approach, which has been successfully employed to reduce point source pollution. A wholesale implementation of the polluter-pays approach to agriculture is likely infeasible, but elements of the polluter-pays approach could be incorporated into agricultural water quality policy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/es2020499DOI Listing
February 2012

Managing ecological thresholds in coupled environmental-human systems.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2011 May 18;108(18):7333-8. Epub 2011 Apr 18.

Department of Agricultural, Food, and Resource Economics, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1039, USA.

Many ecosystems appear subject to regime shifts--abrupt changes from one state to another after crossing a threshold or tipping point. Thresholds and their associated stability landscapes are determined within a coupled socioeconomic-ecological system (SES) where human choices, including those of managers, are feedback responses. Prior work has made one of two assumptions about managers: that they face no institutional constraints, in which case the SES may be managed to be fairly robust to shocks and tipping points are of little importance, or that managers are rigidly constrained with no flexibility to adapt, in which case the inferred thresholds may poorly reflect actual managerial flexibility. We model a multidimensional SES to investigate how alternative institutions affect SES stability landscapes and alter tipping points. With institutionally dependent human feedbacks, the stability landscape depends on institutional arrangements. Strong institutions that account for feedback responses create the possibility for desirable states of the world and can cause undesirable states to cease to exist. Intermediate institutions interact with ecological relationships to determine the existence and nature of tipping points. Finally, weak institutions can eliminate tipping points so that only undesirable states of the world remain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1005431108DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3088591PMC
May 2011

Management of infectious wildlife diseases: bridging conventional and bioeconomic approaches.

Ecol Appl 2010 Jun;20(4):903-14

School of Life Science, Arizona State University, Box 874501, Tempe, Arizona 85287-4501, USA.

The primary goal of disease ecology is to understand disease systems and then use this information to inform management. The purpose of this paper is to show that conventional disease ecology models are limited in their ability to inform management of systems that are already infected, and to show how such models can be integrated with economic decision models to improve upon management recommendations. Management strategies based solely on disease ecology entail managing infected host populations or reservoir populations below a threshold value based on R0, the basic reproductive ratio of the pathogen, or a multiple-host version of this metric. These metrics measure a pathogen's ability to invade uninfected systems and do not account for postinfection dynamics. Once a pathogen has invaded a population, alternative management criteria are needed. Bioeconomic modeling offers a useful alternative approach to developing management criteria and facilitates the consideration of ecological-economic trade-offs so that diseases are managed in a cost-effective manner. The threshold concept takes on a more profound role under a bioeconomic paradigm: rather than unilaterally determining disease control choices, thresholds inform control choices and are influenced by them.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/09-0446.1DOI Listing
June 2010
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