Avian flu has been attracting blogosphere attention for much of the last year, including from Glenn Reynolds and Andrew Sullivan. I have had a hand in starting an avian flu blog. Recently I have finished work on a 40 pp. piece on what we should do about avian flu, here is the pdf link. Here is the Executive Summary. My core approach is to rely on decentralization and incentives. I am skeptical of quarantine or use of the army. Well-functioning, decentralized health systems will likely save the most lives. Stockpiling Tamiflu or vaccines is often overrated in potential effectiveness. We also should, when needed, purchase the relevant intellectual property rights for a fair price rather than simply confiscating those rights. We should ease liability for vacciner makers and institute prizes for good vaccines. Better-developed prediction markets would be useful for charting the progress of the flu. Your comments, of course, are welcome, either below or email me.
What should we do about avian flu?