Past Conference

Economics of Resistance

Apr 5, 2001 - Apr 6, 2001

About the Event

Economics of Resistance                                                                                              April 5-6, 2001

An RFF Conference
Airlie House, Virginia

The problem of resistance is common to all efforts to control biological agents harmful to humans and human enterprise. In the past, bacteria have developed resistance to antimicrobials, malaria parasites to anti-malarials and pests to pesticides. The problem of resistance threatens to undo some of the most remarkable scientific achievements of the past century.

The evolution of resistance is strongly affected by the economic behavior of individuals and institutions, and is encouraged by the absence of economic incentives for individual decision-makers (such as physicians or farmers) to take into account the negative impact of their use of antimicrobials or pesticides on future social wellbeing. Natural resource economics offers a valuable framework for analysis of the optimal use of biological control agents such as antimicrobials, anti-virals and pesticides.

RFF features two back to back workshops on April 5 and April 6, 2001 in Washington, DC to encourage research that will help improve the analytical framework of "resistance economics." The first workshop on April 5, 2001 focuses on antimicrobial resistance; the second workshop on April 6, 2001 examines issues related to pest resistance in agriculture.




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Ramanan Laxminarayan, Fellow, Resources for the Future
Workshop Overview and Plan, Day 1 Link to Audio
Web Bio

Ray Kopp, Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future
Opening Remarks Link to Audio
Web Bio

Economics of Antibiotic Resistance
April 5, 2001

Jim Wilen, University of California, Davis
"Dynamics of antibiotic use: Ecological Versus interventionist strategies" Link to Audio

Gardner Brown,  University of Washington
"Optimal antibiotic use when resistance is renewable" Link to Audio

Jim Sanchirico, Fellow, Resources for the Future--Discussant
"Optimal antibiotic use when resistance is renewable" Link to Audio

Sylvia Secchi, Iowa State University
"Optimal antibiotic use with resistance and endogenous technological change" Link to Audio

Martin Weitzman, Havard University
"On the implications of endogenous resistance to medications" Link to Audio

Stephen Salant, University of Michigan--Discussant
"On the implications of endogenous resistance to medications" Link to Audio

Marc Lipsitch, Harvard University
"Measuring and interpreting associations between antibiotic use and penicillin resistance in streptococcus pneumoniae" Link to Audio

David Howard, Emory University
"Antimicrobial resistance and antibiotic choice: The case of ear infection" Link to Audio

Uri Regev, Ben-Gurion University
"Excess antibiotic treatments: Economic motivations and policy implications" Link to Audio


Economics of Pest Resistance in Agriculture
April 6, 2001

Felicia Wu, Carnegie Mellon University
Benoit Morel, Carnegie Mellon University
"Pest resistance and the environmental impact of Bt-Corn: Real and rational option approaches to decision-making"
Link to Audio

Justus Wesseler, Wageningen University
"Assessing irreversible costs and benefits of transgenic crops" Link to Audio

Chris Gilligan, University of Oxford
Eric Van Dusen, ERS/USDA--Discussants
"Assessing irreversible costs and benefits of transgenic crops" Link to Audio

Bruce Babcock,  Iowa State University
"Pest mobility, market share, and the efficacy of using refuge requirements for resistance management" Link to Audio

Gerd Fleicher,  World Bank
"Elements of economic resistance management strategies - some empirical evidence from case studies in Germany" Link to Audio


  • Molly K. Macauley, Vice President for Research and Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future
  • Michael B. Margolis, Fellow