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Group testing and social distancing

Galanis, S. ORCID: 0000-0003-4286-7449 (2021). Group testing and social distancing. National Institute Economic Review, 257, pp. 36-45. doi: 10.1017/nie.2021.26

Abstract

An often overlooked strategy for fighting the COVID-19 pandemic is group testing. Its main advantage is that it can scale, enabling the regular testing of the whole population. We argue that another advantage is that it can induce social distancing. Using a simple model, we show that if a group tests positive and its members are in close social proximity, then they will rationally choose not to meet. The driving force is the uncertainty about who has the virus and the fact that the group cares about its collective welfare. We therefore propose identifying socially connected groups, such as colleagues, friends and neighbours, and testing them regularly.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © The Author(s), 2021. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of National Institute Economic Review. This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Publisher Keywords: COVID-19; social proximity; health; infections; social distancing
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Q Science > QR Microbiology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Arts & Social Sciences > Economics
Date available in CRO: 08 Dec 2021 13:40
Date deposited: 8 December 2021
Date of first online publication: 30 September 2021
URI: https://openaccess.city.ac.uk/id/eprint/27179
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