Behavior in the Time of Cholera: Evidence from the 2008-2009 Cholera Outbreak in Zimbabwe
Despite the potential benefits of investments in water and sanitation, individual level water treatment remains low in many developing countries. This paper explores the dynamic relationship between water transmitted infectious disease and water treatment behavior. Using evolutionary game theory, I endogenize water treatment decisions in a mathematical model of cholera. I calibrate the model for the ’08-’09 cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe. I show that prevalence dependent water treatment behavior is a factor contributing to endemic cholera. Additionally, I find that in absence of WHO interventions in Zimbabwe, the share of the population treating their water would have converged to a level that would have enabled cholera to persist in the population.
KeywordsCholera Infectious Disease Water Treatment Prevalence Dependent Behavior Economic Development
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