• Jeff Ely

Rotation as Contagion Mitigation

Updated: Jun 30

Joint with Andrea Galeotti and Jakub Steiner


We study rotation schemes that govern individuals’ activities within an organization during an epidemic. We optimize the frequency of rotation and degree of cross-mixing of the rotating subpopulations. Frequency affects risk over the length of diffusion within the infected subpopulation until the organization detects and/or reacts to the infection. If the reaction time is short, then such risk is undesirable since the growth of the prevalence is initially convex in time.


Frequent rotation, which acts as insurance against exposure time risk, is then optimal. Infrequent rotation becomes optimal if the organization reacts slowly. Mixing of the rotating subpopulations is detrimental because it increases the share of interactions between sick and healthy individuals. However, the effect of mixing is small if the terminal prevalence is low in the absence of mixing.


Read it here.

Jeffrey Ely

Department of Economics

Northwestern University

2211 Campus Dr Evanston, IL 60208

Curriculum Vitae

©2019 by Jeffrey Ely.