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:

Papers and Publications

Recent Publications

Ambrus, A. and Elliott, M. Investments in Social Ties, Risk Sharing, and Inequality Review of Economic Studies [2021]

Bhattacharya, D. The Empirical Content of Binary Choice Models Econometrica [2021]

Boneva, L., Elliott, D., Kaminska, I., Linton, O., McLaren, N. and Morley, B. The Impact of Corporate QE on Liquidity: Evidence from the UK The Economic Journal, forthcoming [2022]

Iyer, S. Religion and Discrimination: A Review Essay of Persecution and Toleration: The Long Road to Religious Freedom Journal of Economic Literature [2022]