Socio-economic Research


Examining the Socio-economic Impact of Zoonotic Disease

The study of the socio-economic impact of zoonotic disease is one of the interdisciplinary research efforts of the Allen School. Working with mathematicians, economists and political scientists, Allen School faculty are able to understand the impact of disease in rural communities in Africa and Central America.

Research emphases and related faculty are discussed below. You may also be interested in Allen School work with zoonotic diseaseantimicrobial resistance, and epidemiology research.

Rabies in Africa and Influenza in Central America

Researcher: Dr. Guy Palmer
Dr. Palmer, the founding director of the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, is involved in a variety of research in the socio-economic effects of zoonotic disease. He has worked closely establishing teams in East Africa to combat rabies through controlled vaccination protocols and the study of livestock disease on household economics. He also leads disease control programs in Latin America that focus on influenza epidemiology and community engagement to fight the spread of zoonotic disease.
Dr. Guy Palmer Profile
Rabies Free Africa Initiative
Research Paper (2016): Livestock vaccinations translate into increased human capital and school attendance by girls. (NIH)

Economic Impact of MCF and Vaccination Programs

Researcher: Dr. Felix Lankester
Working from East Africa, Dr. Lankester’s research team works with the spread of infectious diseases; primarily rabies and malignant catarrhal fever (MCF). They work to improve strategies for the regional elimination of rabies, develop vaccine strategies and assess the economic impact of MCF, and work to protect West and Central African primates through law enforcement, education, and habitat protection (Pandrillus Foundation).
Dr. Felix Lankester Profile
Rabies Free Africa Initiative

Global Burden of Animal Diseases

WSU Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health professor Tom Marsh collaborates on the Global Burden of Animal Diseases (GBADS) initiative. Through a socio-economic frame, GBADS strives to measure and improve societal outcomes from livestock ownership and health. GBADS works to have a positive impact on the sustainable development goals contributing to a world in which there is zero hunger, health and well-being, gender equality, economic growth, and responsible consumption and production. 

Graduate Spotlight

Doctoral Student Zoe Campbell in from of Allen Center

Zoë Campbell is a doctoral student in the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health. She provided a first-hand account of her research in Tanzania. "A Tanzanian village is not complete without chickens. They are the most common form of livestock, kept by 48 percent of rural households. As a graduate student working under the Program for Enhancing Health and Productivity of Livestock, I want to understand why some households vaccinate their chickens and others do not."
Zoë Campbell Interview
Zoë Campbell Notes from the Field
Graduate Training Programs

Faculty Working in the Research Area

Tom Marsh

Tom Marsh

Distinguished Professor


Thomas L. Marsh is an internationally recognized expert in agricultural economics and trade. He uses quantitative methods to evaluate the effects of policy and intervention on markets. 

Dr. Marsh’s primary research is in:

  • How public food-safety information influences consumer demand. 
  • Measuring the impact of livestock diseases (including bovine spongiform encephalopathy, foot-and-mouth disease, and E. coli) on human welfare and trade. 
  • Gauging the outcomes of policy responses.

In addition to his professorial roles in the School of Economic Sciences and the Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, he directs the IMPACT Center at WSU. The IMPACT Center seeks to address economic, social, political, and technical problems that affect the competitiveness of Washington's agriculture and related sectors.