Department of Computational Social Science Seminar Abstract

Friday, 29th January: 3.00pm

Measuring Indirect Costs of Diseases in Economies with Heterogeneous Production Technologies

Bogumil Kaminski*, Maciej Latek** and Michal Jakubczyk*

*Decision Analysis and Support Division, The Warsaw School of Economics

**Department of Computational Social Science, George Mason University

We propose a multiagent model for assessing the impact of illness-related job absenteeism on competitive markets. The model directly measures changes in outputs, prices, technological mix and employment levels that are induced by interactions among diseases, a population of workers and a set of profit-maximizing firms.

Two key ideas drive our model: representing (a) heterogeneous production technologies, including project teams, and (b) multi-disease epidemiology with a dynamic social network that serves as conduit for contagion. When a single team member falls ill, he not only provides less output, but also impacts team productivity negatively. For contagious diseases, clustering of social networks among coworkers increases the probability of having multi-team failures in a single firm. We quantify the amount by which models omitting both effects underestimate the indirect cost of illness.

During the presentation, we compare results for different types of diseases and markets and show which ones are robust with respect to assumptions about (a) decision making schemes by the companies and (b) labor market regulation.