Distributing a Billion Vaccines: COVAX Successes, Challenges, and Opportunities/in COVID-19 policy, Featured Recent, published papers, Related Works, Research papers
Preparing for a Pandemic: Accelerating Vaccine Availability/in COVID-19 policy, published papers, Research papers
Bigger Is Better When It Comes to Vaccine Production/in COVID-19 policy, policy writing, Policy Writing, Research Policy
Market Design to Accelerate Covid-19 Vaccine Supply/in COVID-19 policy, Featured Recent, published papers, Related Works, Research Papers, Research papers
Maximize Utility Subject to R ≤ 1: A Simple Price-Theory Approach to Covid-19 Lockdown and Reopening Policy/in COVID-19 policy, Research papers, working papers
This note suggests that we view R < 1 as an economic constraint, allowing social welfare in the traditional sense (economic activity, societal well-being) to be the policy objective. This formulation highlights two key questions at the intersection of health and economics research in response to the Covid-19 crisis. First, what activities maximize social welfare subject to the constraint that disease-transmission is contained, i.e., R < 1. Second, what are ways to “expand the frontier” of how much social welfare we can achieve while keeping disease-transmission contained. For example, could widespread use of masks and gloves, society-wide campaigns to “wash your hands,” “stay home if sick,” and “don’t touch your face,” and aggressive testing, together allow us to meaningfully increase the level of economic activity and societal well-being that is possible while keeping R < 1?
Paul G. McDermott Professor of Economics and Entrepreneurship
Centel Foundation/Robert P. Reuss Faculty Scholar