Vested interest and local decision making as barriers to eradicating a pandemic disease. The case of African Swine Fever in Sardinia

TitleVested interest and local decision making as barriers to eradicating a pandemic disease. The case of African Swine Fever in Sardinia
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsDI LIBERTO, A, Pigliaru, F
JournalSTUDI ECONOMICO-GIURIDICI
Volume64
Pagination75–96
Abstract

African swine fever (ASF) is a highly contagious disease that affects pigs and has rapidly spread across Asia and Europe. While eradicating ASF brings large benefits, achieving a broad consensus among stakeholders for the necessary health measures can be challenging. The case of Sardinia, where efforts to eliminate ASF have failed for an extended period, exemplifies this challenge. The measures to combat ASF have long been ignored by those working in the sector and the authorities responsible for their implementation. Our goal is to explain this inertia. To achieve this aim, we focus on purely economic factors. Our hypothesis is that at the local level, farmers’ self-interest may conflict with the goal of eradicating ASF, thereby hindering progress. In this study, we provide a formal analysis of this hypothesis. The main implication of our findings is that responsibility for fighting ASF should be assigned to a level of government that is less influenced by local economic and political barriers.

DOI10.60980/sec2023/1-4dilpag
KeywordsAfrican swine fever, Economic incentives, externalities, pandemic