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24, chemin de Borde Rouge –Auzeville – CS52627
31326 Castanet Tolosan CEDEX - France

Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Arnaud Rault

PhD student


Consequences and management of epidemic risks: Application to livestock in Brittany

This PhD is focused on the economic impacts due to a livestock disease outbreak. This kind of sanitary shock represents a productive risk with many implications, extending its effects to the whole livestock industry or even to the overall economy of the region or country, as observed for example during the mad cow disease crisis in the late 1990s. From the economic literature, it appears that these crises are catastrophic market events, and that they lead to a gradual adjustment in the herd. Thus we propose an economic modelling of market dynamics in livestock, in order to capture the indirect and long run effects related to the occurrence of a disease outbreak. The analysis reveals that the shock makes indebtment grow and may lead to farm closure. The access to credit plays a crucial role for farm solvency, and this situation may also ultimately penalize consumers as well. At the country level, the comprehension of the impacts of a health crisis is possible thanks to a dynamic computable general equilibrium modelling, which integrates intertemporal decisions of farmers –including livestock farmers–, and market imperfections for production factors. The model is applied to Brittany, a French livestock-intensive region. Simulation results show that the health shock weighs on all livestock sectors, and finally affects the whole regional economy. In this context, the lack of flexibility in capital and labour markets increases the social cost of the disease, and delays the return of economic activity. Finally, we show that public support for farm income in a period of crisis tends to reduce the magnitude and the duration of the shock. Participation of farmers in this policy, through the implementation of mutual funds, moves the risk management costs to those agents, but ultimately proves more costly socially.

Director : Alexandre Gohin, INRA

Research topics 

  • Animal health and livestock epidemics
  • Markets, risks and catastrophic events

Selected recent publications

  • Gohin, A., Cordier, J., Krebs, S., Rault, A., 2012. Dynamic Impacts of a Catastrophic Production Event: The Foot-and-Mouth Disease Case. Risk Analysis.

Work in progress

  • Arnaud Rault "On the effectiveness of mutual funds to cope with lasting market risks: the case of FMD in Brittany" Unpublished mimeo