ABSTRACT

Balancing Tradeoffs Between Liberties and Lives   [open html - 0B]

From the Article: "Policymakers and the public should recognize that: [1] the public health response to a pandemic requires tradeoffs: evaluating how much a society should be willing to pay to mitigate death and suffering caused by the disease; [2] cost‐​benefit analysis is a rational framework for evaluating those tradeoffs; [3] such analysis involves ascribing a dollar value for each statistical life saved by government policies, derived with reference to how much workers are willing to pay in labor markets to avoid mortality risks; [4] policies that save lives have economic costs and that these policies reduce nonmarket liberties, an effect that is likely significant in magnitude; and [5] current evidence suggests that voluntary social distancing has a much larger impact than policy on both disease transmission and economic outcomes."

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2020-09-15
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Cato Institute
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Cato Institute: https://www.cato.org/
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