skip to content

Faculty of Economics

Journal Cover

Harvey, A. C. and Kattuman, P.

A Farewell to R: Time Series Models for Tracking and Forecasting Epidemics

Journal of the Royal Society Interface

Vol. 18(182): 20210179

Abstract: The time-dependent reproduction number, Rt, is a key metric used by epidemiologists to assess the current state of an outbreak of an infectious disease. This quantity is usually estimated using time-series observations on new infections combined with assumptions about the distribution of the serial interval of transmissions. Bayesian methods are often used with the new cases data smoothed using a simple, but to some extent arbitrary, moving average. This paper describes a new class of time-series models, estimated by classical statistical methods, for tracking and forecasting the growth rate of new cases and deaths. Very few assumptions are needed and those that are made can be tested. Estimates of Rt, together with their standard deviations, are obtained as a by-product.

Earlier version in Covid Economics, 2020.

Author links: Andrew Harvey  

Publisher's Link: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsif.2021.0179



Papers and Publications



Recent Publications


Elliott, M., Golub, B. and Leduc, M. V. Supply Network Formation and Fragility American Economic Review [2022]

Huffman, D., Raymond, C. and Shvets, J. Persistent Overconfidence and Biased Memory: Evidence from Managers American Economic Review [2022]

Rauh, C. and Valladares-Esteban, A. On the Black-White Gaps in Labor Supply and Earnings over the Lifecycle in the US Review of Economic Dynamics [2023]

Carneiro, P., Liu, K. and Salvanes, K. G. The Supply of Skill and Endogenous Technical Change: Evidence from a College Expansion Reform Journal of the European Economic Association [2023]