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The paper proposes a behavioural-compartmental-epidemiological model with heterogenous agents who choose whether to enact physical distancing practices. Motivated by the evidence on individual physical distancing behaviour during the COVID-19 outbreak, our model extends the standard compartmental-epidemiological models by including endogenous physical distancing behaviour, drawing on discrete choice theory. This approach can account for two important factors:(i) the limited information about the contagion dynamics available for individuals and (ii) the heterogeneity in the individual ability and preferences concerning physical distancing. Despite its simplicity, the model provides policy indications about the timing and size of mitigating policies and the level and quality of information available for the public.


Working paper

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