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Concept: Economic surplus


Over the past decade, several countries across all regions, income groups and procurement methods have been unable to secure sufficient BCG vaccine supply. While the frequency of stock-outs has remained rather stable, duration increased in 2014-2015 due to manufacturing issues and attracted the attention of national, regional and global immunization stakeholders. This prompted an in-depth analysis of supply and demand dynamics aiming to characterize supply risks. This analysis is unique as it provides a global picture, where previous analyses have focused on a portion of the market procuring through UN entities. Through literature review, supplier interviews, appraisal of shortages, stock-outs and historical procurement data, and through demand forecasting, this analysis shows an important increase in global capacity in 2017: supply is sufficient to meet forecasted BCG vaccine demand and possibly buffer market shocks. Nevertheless, risks remain mainly due to supply concentration and limited investment in production process improvements, as well as inflexibility in demand. Identification of these market risks will allow implementation of risk-mitigating interventions in three areas: (1) enhancing information sharing between major global health actors, countries and suppliers, (2) identifying interests and incentives to expand product registration and investment in the BCG manufacturing process, and (3) working with countries for tighter vaccine management.

Concepts: Supply and demand, Consumer theory, Microeconomics, Market, Market economy, Economic surplus, Inverse demand function, Islamic economics in the world


Climate change threatens agricultural productivity worldwide, resulting in higher food prices. Associated economic gains and losses differ not only by region but also between producers and consumers and are affected by market dynamics. On the basis of an impact modeling chain, starting with 19 different climate projections that drive plant biophysical process simulations and ending with agro-economic decisions, this analysis focuses on distributional effects of high-end climate change impacts across geographic regions and across economic agents. By estimating the changes in surpluses of consumers and producers, we find that climate change can have detrimental impacts on global agricultural welfare, especially after 2050, because losses in consumer surplus generally outweigh gains in producer surplus. Damage in agriculture may reach the annual loss of 0.3% of future total gross domestic product at the end of the century globally, assuming further opening of trade in agricultural products, which typically leads to interregional production shifts to higher latitudes. Those estimated global losses could increase substantially if international trade is more restricted. If beneficial effects of atmospheric carbon dioxide fertilization can be realized in agricultural production, much of the damage could be avoided. Although trade policy reforms toward further liberalization help alleviate climate change impacts, additional compensation mechanisms for associated environmental and development concerns have to be considered.

Concepts: Carbon dioxide, Agriculture, Economics, International trade, Trade, Globalization, Economic surplus, Surplus value


There is little debate that the health workforce is a key component of the health care system. Since the training of doctors and nurses takes several years, and the building of new schools even longer, projections are needed to allow for the development of health workforce policies. Our work develops a projection model for the demand of doctors and nurses by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries in the year 2030. The model is based on a country’s demand for health services, which includes the following factors: per capita income, out-of-pocket health expenditures and the ageing of its population. The supply of doctors and nurses is projected using country-specific autoregressive integrated moving average models. Our work shows how dramatic imbalances in the number of doctors and nurses will be in OECD countries should current trends continue. For each country in the OECD with sufficient data, we report its demand, supply and shortage or surplus of doctors and nurses for 2030. We project a shortage of nearly 400,000 doctors across 32 OECD countries and shortage of nearly 2.5 million nurses across 23 OECD countries in 2030. We discuss the results and suggest policies that address the shortages.

Concepts: Health care, Health economics, Medicine, Healthcare, Projection, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Autoregressive moving average model, Economic surplus


Maintaining and increasing soil quality and fertility in a sustainable way is an important challenge for modern agriculture. The burgeoning bioeconomy is likely to put further pressure on soil resources unless they are managed carefully. Compost has the potential to be an effective soil improver because of its multiple beneficial effects on soil quality. Additionally, it fits within the bioeconomy vision because it can valorize biomass from prior biomass processing or valorize biomass unsuitable for other processes. However, compost is rarely used in intensive agriculture, especially in regions with high manure surpluses. The aim of this research is to identify the barriers to on-farm composting and the application of compost in agriculture, using a mixed method approach for the case of Flanders. The significance of the 28 identified barriers is analyzed and they are categorized as market and financial, policy and institutional, scientific and technological and informational and behavioral barriers. More specifically, the shortage of woody biomass, strict regulation, considerable financial and time investment, and lack of experience and knowledge are hindering on-farm composting. The complex regulation, manure surplus, variable availability and transport of compost, and variable compost quality and composition are barriers to apply compost. In conclusion, five recommendations are suggested that could alleviate certain hindering factors and thus increase attractiveness of compost use in agriculture.

Concepts: Scientific method, Agriculture, Case study, Humus, Compost, Manure, Economic surplus, Compost tea


This paper reviews literature on how jackpots influence Electronic Gaming Machine (EGM) gambling behaviour. Most of the available evidence addresses the motivational effect of the mere presence of EGM jackpots on play, as actual wins are relatively rare for individual gamblers. The review identifies a distinction between rational, biased and irrational motivations that attract people to EGM jackpots. The evidence suggests that EGM jackpots should generate additional consumption on EGMs above machines that do not have such lottery-like features. Rational motivations are likely to lead to consumer surplus, whereas biased and irrational motivations are likely to contribute to excessive consumption. Moreover, there is evidence that excessive gambling consumption is strongly associated with gambling-related harm. Future research should identify how the structural features of different types of jackpots; such as progressive, deterministic, hidden, mystery, linked and wide-area jackpots; may differentially appeal to rational, biased and irrational gambling motivations. Jackpots are common feature of EGM games, and therefore it is important to have a better understanding of how jackpot features influence play on the machines.

Concepts: Behavior, Motivation, Human behavior, Identification, Gambling, Rationality, Economic surplus, Jackpot


In the Netherlands, outbreaks of Aujeszky’s Disease (AD) are controlled by vaccination and movement restriction zones (MRZ). Although this strategy avoids the socio-ethical concerns associated with pre-emptive slaughter, it can easily result in animal welfare problems and negative economic consequences. These arise because movement restrictions result in surpluses of live (vaccinated) piglets on farms. The aim is to provide insight into the development of these surpluses and its impact and to describe how measures that allow early transportation of pigs under certain conditions and to specific destinations (channelling) could reduce these problems. For the analysis, a deterministic simulation model was developed, which calculates surpluses of piglets at multiplier farms during AD outbreaks. This is performed on a weekly basis for two areas (with and without piglet surplus), three outbreak durations (minimum, moderate and long) and three strategies for movement restrictions (strict, transports within the MRZ allowed and transports outside the MRZ allowed). The results show that in case of complete movement restrictions, surpluses of piglets varying in age and vaccination status will quickly arise. These surpluses are larger for longer epidemics and can become as large as 180-340 thousand piglets (45-75% of weekly domestic production) for moderate and long epidemics, respectively. Implementation of channelling strategies that allow earlier transportation within the MRZ can reduce surpluses by about 50% to 100-150 thousand piglets maximum. Strategies that also allow transportation outside the MRZ can reduce surpluses even further to below 100 thousand piglets. It was concluded that channelling of live piglets during AD outbreaks results in a drastic reduction of problems with accommodating ready-for-transport piglets. Moreover, it reduces shortages during movement restrictions and peak supply immediately after removing the restrictions. Channelling could therefore be an important instrument to reduce the economic and animal welfare impacts of containment measures.

Concepts: Epidemiology, Infectious disease, Vaccination, Transport, Netherlands, Pseudorabies, Outbreak, Economic surplus


Introduction: In economic theory economic surplus refers to two related quantities: Consumer and producer surplus. Applying this theory to health care “convenience” could be one way how consumer benefits might manifest itself.Methods: Various areas of economic surplus were identified and subsequently screened and analyzed in Germany, Spain, The Netherlands, and the UK: Cesarean births, emergency room visits (nights or weekends), drug availability after test results, and response surplus. A targeted literature search was being conducted to identify the associated costs. Finally the economic surplus (convenience value) was calculated.Results: The economic surplus for different health care areas was being calculated. The highest economic surplus was obtained for the example of response surplus IVF-treatments in The Netherlands.Conclusion: The analyzed examples in this article support the underlying hypothesis for this research: “Value of convenience defined as the consumer surplus in health care can be shown in different health care settings.” Again, this hypothesis should be accepted as a starting point in this research area and hence further primary research is strongly recommended in order to fully proof this concept.

Concepts: Economics, Supply and demand, Microeconomics, Economic surplus, Surplus value, Surplus product