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Abstract

Macroeconomic impact of foot-and-mouth disease vaccination strategies for an outbreak in the Midwestern United States: a computable general equilibrium.

Abstract

The impacts of alternative responses to a hypothetical foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) outbreak occurring in the Midwestern United States are estimated using the Regional Economic Modelling Incorporated Policy Insight + (REMI) computable general equilibrium model, with particular attention paid to the employment impact estimates. The impact on employment and GDP is estimated using forecasts of a 10-year period with disease outbreak duration up to 2 years. Fifteen different vaccination protocols are compared to a disease control protocol that relies on animal depopulation with no vaccination. Results show that over the 10-year study period, the strictly depopulation strategy that made no use of vaccination results in approximately 677,000 jobs lost with $47 billion GDP loss. Based on the analysis conducted, losses can be reduced through protocols that utilize vaccination strategies. Through a vaccinate-to-live strategy with the highest vaccination capacity and largest vaccination zone, savings can be as many as 509,000 jobs in comparison to the strategy that relies strictly on slaughter with no use of vaccination. By including detailed job losses by occupation, this study highlights the downstream employment effects and shows that job losses resulting from an FMD outbreak can go far beyond the farm sector impacts that have been reported in earlier studies. Understanding the impacts on employment by sector provides more actionable information than producer and consumer surplus estimates frequently reported in economic impact studies.