Optimal Screening for Genetic Diseases

2008/2: Author: Nævdal, Eric, Department of Economics, University of Oslo (PDF 284 kb)

Fulltext 284 kb


Screening for genetic diseases is performed in many regions and/or ethnic groups where there is a high prevalence of possibly malign genes. The propagation of such genes can be considered a dynamic externality. Given that many of these diseases are untreatable and give rise to truly tragic outcomes they are a source for societal concern and the screening process should perhaps be regulated.

The present paper incorporates a standard model of genetic propagation into an economic model of dynamic management. The paper derives cost benefit rules for optimal screening. The highly non-linear nature of genetic dynamics gives rise to perhaps surprising results which include discontinuous controls and threshold effects. One insight is that a screening program, if at all in place at all at some point in time, should screen all individuals.

ISSN 1890-1735
ISBN 82-7756-184-9

Publisert 25. mai 2011 16:21 - Sist endret 7. okt. 2011 12:03