We had an excellent research talk this afternoon by Julia Touza of the University of York on modelling control options for private actors (nurseries) against diseases spread through plant trade. Chalara (Ash Dieback) has really pushed up interest in invasive pathogens in the UK and research agendas are reflecting this – but it’s a game of catch-up. She and her co-authors confirm some standard (but frustrating) observations — sometimes it is not worth it to do anything, for example, if rates of spread are very high or damages low — but they also find that prevention and control measures sometimes act as complements and sometimes act as substitutes – instead of the general assumption in the invasives literature that prevention and control are substitutes – and that the distinction lies in the imperfections – for one thing, the incentives of the nursery to ‘close off trade’ that would prevent repeated introductions are low.

Very nicely pitched to a mix of students and environmental/resource economics professors and much appreciated!

You can see a recent version of the working paper here.

Image and credit: Pointain’s Plant Centre, UK. © Copyright Seo Mise and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence