Cognitive Modeling of Household Economic Behaviors during Extreme Events

  • Mark A. Ehlen
  • Michael L. Bernard
  • Andrew J. Schol
Conference paper

Traditional economic models of household behavior are generally not well suited for modeling the economic impacts of extreme events, due to (1) their assumptions of perfect rationality and perfect information; (2) their omission of important non-market factors on behavior; and (3) their omission of the unusual, scenariospecific conditions that extreme events pose on decision making. To overcome these shortcomings, we developed a cognitive-economic model of household behavior that captures and integrates many of these important psychological, non-market, and extreme-event effects. This model of household behavior was used in prototype simulations of how a pandemic influenza can impact the demand for food in a large metropolitan city. The simulations suggest that the impacts to food demand caused by household stress, fear, hoarding, and observing others doing the same could be far greater than those caused simply by the disease itself.


Extreme Event Pandemic Influenza Sandia National Laboratory Action Intention Household Behavior 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Canadian Supply Chain Food Safety Coalition (2007) Pandemic Influenza Emergency Simulation Project for the Agri-Food Sector. The Zeta Group, Ottawa, Ontario.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    City of Albuquerque (2008) GIS Data from the City of Albuquerque. Albuquerque, NM.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    The D&B Corporation (2007) Short Hills, NJ.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Ehlen M.A., Downes P.S., Scholand, A.J. (October 2007) Economic Impacts of Pandemic Influenza on the U.S. Manufactured Foods Industry. DHS, NISAC, Albuquerque, NM.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ehlen, M.A., Downes, P.S., Scholand, A.J. (March 2007) A Post-Katrina Comparative Economic Analysis of the Chemicals, Food, and Goodyear Value Chains (OUO). DHS, Albuquerque, NM.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Eidson, E.D., Ehlen, M.A. (2005) NISAC Agent-Based Laboratory for Economics (N-ABLE), SAND2005-0263. Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    The Food Marketing Institute (2006) Avian Influenza & Pandemic Preparedness. Arlington, VA.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (2008). Pandemic Influenza Agriculture Planning Toolkit. Tallahassee, FL.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Kay V., Smith B., Hoyt T. et al (2007). The Role of Emotion in Decision Making in an Avian Flu. Submitted to American Journal of Public Health.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Smith B.W., Kay V. S., Hoyt T. et al (2007) The Effects of Personality and Emotion on Behavior in a Potential Avian Flu Epidemic. 11th International Conference on Social Stress Research.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    The White House (2005) National Strategy for a Pandemic Influenza. Washington, D.C.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag US 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerque

Personalised recommendations