Determining the Optimal Duration of the COVID-19 Suppression Policy: A Cost-Benefit Analysis   [open pdf - 0B]

From the Abstract: "We investigate the optimal duration of the COVID-19 [coronavirus disease] suppression policy. We find that absent extensive suppression measures, the economic cost of the virus will total over $9 trillion, which represents 43% of annual GDP [gross domestic product]. The optimal duration of the suppression policy crucially depends on the policy's effectiveness in reducing the rate of the virus transmission. We use three different assumptions for the suppression policy effectiveness, measured by the 'R0' that it can achieve ('R0' indicates the number of people an infected person infects on average at the start of the outbreak). Using the assumption that the suppression policy can achieve 'R0' = 1, we assess that it should be kept in place between 30 and 34 weeks. If suppression can achieve a lower 'R0' = 0.7, the policy should be in place between 11 and 12 weeks. Finally, for the most optimistic assumption that the suppression policy can achieve an even lower 'R0' of 0.5, we estimate that it should last between seven and eight weeks. We further show that stopping the suppression policy before six weeks does not produce any meaningful improvements in the pandemic outcome."

Report Number:
AEI Economics Working Paper 2020-03; American Enterprise Institute Economics Working Paper 2020-03
2020 Anna Scherbina
Retrieved From:
American Enterprise Institute: https://www.aei.org/
Media Type:
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