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Global mortality benefits of COVID-19 action


  • Yoo, Sunbin
  • Managi, Shunsuke


The rapid spread of COVID-19 motivated countries worldwide to mitigate mortality through actions including social distancing, home quarantine, school closures, and case isolation. We estimate the global mortality benefits of these actions. We use county-level data on COVID-19 from January 2020, project the number of mortalities until September 2020, and calculate the global mortality benefits using the age- and country-specific value of a statistical life (VSL). Implementing all four types of actions above would save approximately 40.76 trillion USD globally, with social distancing accounting for 55% of the benefits. The monetary benefit would be the largest in the US, Japan and China. Our findings indicate that global actions during COVID-19 have substantial economic benefits and must be implemented in response to COVID-19.

Suggested Citation

  • Yoo, Sunbin & Managi, Shunsuke, 2020. "Global mortality benefits of COVID-19 action," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 160(C).
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:tefoso:v:160:y:2020:i:c:s004016252031057x
    DOI: 10.1016/j.techfore.2020.120231

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    2. Abdel-Basset, Mohamed & Chang, Victor & Nabeeh, Nada A., 2021. "An intelligent framework using disruptive technologies for COVID-19 analysis," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 163(C).
    3. Liu, Ning & Chen, Zhuo & Bao, Guoxian, 2021. "Role of media coverage in mitigating COVID-19 transmission: Evidence from China," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 163(C).
    4. Belhadi, Amine & Kamble, Sachin & Jabbour, Charbel Jose Chiappetta & Gunasekaran, Angappa & Ndubisi, Nelson Oly & Venkatesh, Mani, 2021. "Manufacturing and service supply chain resilience to the COVID-19 outbreak: Lessons learned from the automobile and airline industries," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 163(C).
    5. Baudier, Patricia & Kondrateva, Galina & Ammi, Chantal & Chang, Victor & Schiavone, Francesco, 2021. "Patients’ perceptions of teleconsultation during COVID-19: A cross-national study," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 163(C).

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    More about this item


    COVID-19; Coronavirus; Global mortality benefit; Value of a statistical life; Epidemic diseases;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • H84 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Disaster Aid
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health


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