A market for mosquito control?

We buy medicines in stores and pharmacies, and we get healthcare in clinics and hospitals. Why don’t we purchase mosquito control in the same way? Many people in the United States purchase mosquito repellent – to clean their yard and surroundings. This type of behavior, however, seems to be rare around the world where mosquitoes are more of an infestation. Although recent reports are even worse, mosquitoes and the malaria parasites they carry kill millions of people each year.

One explanation for the abundance of mosquito control in some areas and the lack of mosquito control in other areas is related to the market for mosquito control, or lack thereof.

Thin markets lead to more mosquitoes and more government

Net profit from exchange is positive when market of goods and services is created. If there are people who can control mosquitoes and if there are people who want to control mosquitoes, a market will make those people better. Unfortunately, people often view the net gains of mosquito control as negative. This thin market implies very little mosquito control and much more mosquitoes.

Public health in mosquito control is a complex issue that includes the habitat of mosquito breeding, how mosquitoes spread disease, and how the human body responds to mosquito-borne diseases. Thus, the thin market for mosquito control in many areas serves as a contributing factor to the spread of diseases such as malaria and yellow fever. Natural conditions such as climate and ecology are important – because they determine the reproductive cycle of mosquitoes and how often they feed – but these factors also depend on people’s motivation to change them and control the mosquito population.

Why is this market so thin and why is the impetus for mosquito control so weak? Transaction costs.

Michael Munger describes the cost of a transaction in terms of trust, triangulation and transferability. People exchange more when they trust each other, when they know where people are, when they know what customers want, when they want to make an exchange and when they can easily transfer goods and services. This is the business model of Uber and Airbnb – as Munger suggests – they sell at a lower transaction cost.

With mosquito control, however, transaction costs are often higher. People may not trust their neighbors to pay for mosquito control, or they may travel free from the contributions of others. People may not know how to spread mosquito populations in any body of water, or how to find and hire experts in malarology, ecology, biology, engineering, etc., all of which can be costly. Moreover, people do not know when and where they want to control mosquitoes. A city-wide program may be suitable for some, but others may only control mosquitoes for their backyard.

People often avoid these problems through government. For example, a municipal government may use a portion of tax revenue to fund a gaseous spray campaign. Although government procedures can reduce the cost of coordinating mosquito control, the underlying transaction costs related to trust, triangulation and movability remain. Even so, owning one is still beyond the reach of the average person. In fact, mosquito control agencies ির through municipal governments হয়েছিল emerged throughout the United States in the early 1900’s. Many areas also enforce harassment laws that prohibit stagnant bodies of water. This includes standing water around construction sites, pools and even bird baths.

Stronger markets lead to less mosquitoes and more competition

Humans directly face the cost of mosquito control transactions. Mosquito Joe, Mosquito Hunters, Mosquito Squad, Mosquito Authority, Mr. Mister Mosquito (currently owned by Terminix), and other pest control firms are not just killing mosquitoes. They reduce the cost of mosquito control transactions and are rewarded for it. They acquire or develop technologies that are useful for killing mosquitoes, such as handheld sprayers, drones, mosquito repellents, etc. They instruct people to kill mosquitoes, and they bring tools and their knowledge to your doorstep.

These businesses further reduce transaction costs through franchising and the development of economies of scale and opportunity. Franchising opportunities are available across the United States, indicating a greater capacity for entrepreneurs to provide mosquito control. Moreover, it encourages greater market integration and acquisition of pest control which increases competition. For example, Rentokil recently bought Terminix.

Because of these innovations and the ability to reduce transaction costs, these companies create opportunities for subsequent profits. As they are part of a growing market for mosquito control that began in the early 20th century, as I suggested in a previous article, it includes the activities of individual home and landowners, colleges, private sector organizations and agencies. Civil society.

Importantly, these advances in mosquito control indicate a stronger market for mosquito control and more opportunities for services. You can now cook a nice summer or enjoy a good book under your favorite tree free of mosquitoes. You have the opportunity to control the mosquito population in your front yard, your backyard, part of your yard, or the area around you or your business.

A new type of mosquito control

Why aren’t there more mosquito control agencies in places like sub-Saharan Africa that can help control mosquito populations? Technology and ideas are not relevant here. Since the discovery of Ronald Ross in the late 1890s, people have known that mosquitoes carry the disease. 20th century mosquito control experts have consistently come up with better ways to do this.

An economic explanation that seems more relevant to those responsible for transaction costs, markets and the organization. That is, mosquito control is a stimulus for entrepreneurs to reduce transaction costs, produce mosquito control and generate positive net revenue. In the context of economic and political institutions such as private property rights and the rule of law, there is a clear expectation of positive net revenue for entrepreneurs and organizations related to mosquito control in the United States. There may be a lack of such organizations in other parts of the world, especially in areas where mosquitoes spread.

Personal efforts to control mosquito populations are a game changer in the fight against infestations and infectious diseases. In addition to the standard causes of mosquito control, perhaps we should consider the role of economic freedom. Such organizations increase competition, encourage innovation, and lead to more opportunities to kill mosquitoes.

Byron B. Carson, III

Byron Carson

Byron Carson is an assistant professor of economics and business at Hampden-Sydney College in Hampden-Sydney, Virginia. He taught courses in introductory economics, finance and banking, development economics, health economics, and urban economics.

Byron earned his PhD. BA in Economics in 2017 from George Mason University and BA in Economics from Rhodes College in 2011. His research interests include economic epidemiology, public choice, and the Austrian economy.

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