CE36 - Santé publique, santé et sociétés

Efficient mobilization of COVID-19 Testing Resources – EMTR

Submission summary

France has been heavily affected by the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic. Such epidemics have unique features: many individuals are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms and the risks differ largely across individuals. This means that individuals differ in their willingness to participate in testing, conditional on being infected. To the extent the observed symptoms are important factors leading one’s testing decision, individuals differ in their incentives to test. Those people who have mild symptoms or who are not at risk may under-test and may spread the virus. This means that the raw surveillance data involves an endogenous selection in terms of the types of individuals who get tested. The purpose of our project is to gain a deep (or structural) understanding about the pattern of this selection. We will accomplish this goal by carefully modelling individuals’ decision regarding Covid testing and confronting the predicted model with the observed data on test participation, test outcome as well as subsequent hospitalizations and death rates. More specifically, we will model an individual who perceives some benefit and cost from testing as a function of this individual’s characteristics and who, when taking his/her decision to test, weighs that benefit against the cost. We will match the prediction of the positivity rates of our model to the observed positive rate for the different groups of individuals and use the generalized method of moments to estimate the parameters. Our project will serve several important purposes. Gaining better understanding about the testing decision will enable us to identify the relative degrees of “under-testing” across different segments of population. This will also allow us to develop a general tool kit that would enable policy makers not only to understand individuals’ response to testing but also to optimally mobilize and allocate testing resources which we hope will prove useful for dealing with future pandemics.

Project coordination

OLIVIER TERCIEUX (Ecole d'économie de Paris)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Ecole d'économie de Paris

Help of the ANR 492,264 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 48 Months

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