IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/26984.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Optimal Mitigation Policies in a Pandemic: Social Distancing and Working from Home

Author

Listed:
  • Callum J. Jones
  • Thomas Philippon
  • Venky Venkateswaran

Abstract

We study the response of an economy to an unexpected epidemic. Households mitigate the spread of the disease by reducing consumption, reducing hours worked, and working from home. Working from home is subject to learning-by-doing and the capacity of the health care system is limited. A social planner worries about two externalities, an infection externality and a healthcare congestion externality. Private agents’ mitigation incentives are too weak and suffer from a fatalism bias with respect to future infection rates. The planner implements front-loaded mitigation policies and encourages working from home immediately. In our calibration, assuming a CFR of 1% and an initial infection rate of 0.1%, private mitigation reduces the cumulative death rate from 2.5% of the initially susceptible population to about 1.75%. The planner optimally imposes a drastic suppression policy and reduces the death rate to 0.15% at the cost of an initial drop in consumption of around 25%.

Suggested Citation

  • Callum J. Jones & Thomas Philippon & Venky Venkateswaran, 2020. "Optimal Mitigation Policies in a Pandemic: Social Distancing and Working from Home," NBER Working Papers 26984, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26984
    Note: EFG HE LS
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w26984.pdf
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text is generally limited to series subscribers, however if the top level domain of the client browser is in a developing country or transition economy free access is provided. More information about subscriptions and free access is available at http://www.nber.org/wwphelp.html. Free access is also available to older working papers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Fernando E. Alvarez & David Argente & Francesco Lippi, 2020. "A Simple Planning Problem for COVID-19 Lockdown," NBER Working Papers 26981, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Dingel, Jonathan I. & Neiman, Brent, 2020. "How many jobs can be done at home?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
    3. David Berger & Kyle Herkenhoff & Simon Mongey, 2020. "An SEIR Infectious Disease Model with Testing and Conditional Quarantine," Working Papers 2020-017, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Brodeur, Abel & Cook, Nikolai & Wright, Taylor, 2020. "On the Effects of COVID-19 Safer-At-Home Policies on Social Distancing, Car Crashes and Pollution," IZA Discussion Papers 13255, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Dirk Krueger & Harald Uhlig & Taojun Xie, 2020. "Macroeconomic Dynamics and Reallocation in an Epidemic," PIER Working Paper Archive 20-015, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    3. Marina Azzimonti-Renzo & Alessandra Fogli & Fabrizio Perri & Mark Ponder, 2020. "Pandemic Control in ECON-EPI Networks," Staff Report 609, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
    4. Cem Çakmaklı & Selva Demiralp & Ṣebnem Kalemli-Özcan & Sevcan Yesiltas & Muhammed A. Yildirim, 2020. "COVID-19 and Emerging Markets: A SIR Model, Demand Shocks and Capital Flows," NBER Working Papers 27191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Ng, Wung Lik, 2020. "To lockdown? When to peak? Will there be an end? A macroeconomic analysis on COVID-19 epidemic in the United States," Journal of Macroeconomics, Elsevier, vol. 65(C).
    6. David Baqaee & Emmanuel Farhi, 2020. "Nonlinear Production Networks with an Application to the Covid-19 Crisis," NBER Working Papers 27281, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Beland, Louis-Philippe & Brodeur, Abel & Wright, Taylor, 2020. "COVID-19, Stay-at-Home Orders and Employment: Evidence from CPS Data," GLO Discussion Paper Series 559, Global Labor Organization (GLO).
    8. Charles Gottlieb & Jan Grobovsek & Markus Poschke & Fernando Saltiel, 2020. "Lockdown Accounting," Cahiers de recherche 18-2020, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
    9. Hortaçsu, Ali & Liu, Jiarui & Schwieg, Timothy, 2021. "Estimating the fraction of unreported infections in epidemics with a known epicenter: An application to COVID-19," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 220(1), pages 106-129.
    10. Veronica Guerrieri & Guido Lorenzoni & Ludwig Straub & Iván Werning, 2020. "Macroeconomic Implications of COVID-19: Can Negative Supply Shocks Cause Demand Shortages?," Working Papers 2020-35, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    11. Dirk Kruger & Harald Uhlig & Taojun Xie, 2020. "Macroeconomic Dynamics and Reallocation in an Epidemic," Working Papers 2020-43, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    12. Ma, Chang & Rogers, John & Zhou, Sili, 2020. "Modern pandemics : Recession and recovery," BOFIT Discussion Papers 16/2020, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
    13. Aum, Sangmin & Lee, Sang Yoon (Tim) & Shin, Yongseok, 2020. "Inequality of Fear and Self-Quarantine: Is There a Trade-off between GDP and Public Health?," CEPR Discussion Papers 14679, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    14. David Baqaee & Emmanuel Farhi & Michael J. Mina & James H. Stock, 2020. "Reopening Scenarios," NBER Working Papers 27244, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Christian A. Moser & Pierre Yared, 2020. "Pandemic Lockdown: The Role of Government Commitment," NBER Working Papers 27062, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Cem Çakmaklı & Selva Demiralp & Ṣebnem Kalemli-Özcan & Sevcan Yeşiltaş & Muhammed A. Yıldırım, 2021. "The Economic Case for Global Vaccinations: An Epidemiological Model with International Production Networks," NBER Working Papers 28395, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Bognanni, Mark & Hanley, Douglas & Kolliner, Daniel & Mitman, Kurt, 2020. "Economics and Epidemics: Evidence from an Estimated Spatial Econ-SIR Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 15310, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    18. Christopher Avery & William Bossert & Adam Thomas Clark & Glenn Ellison & Sara Ellison, 2020. "Policy Implications of Models of the Spread of Coronavirus: Perspectives and Opportunities for Economists," CESifo Working Paper Series 8293, CESifo.
    19. Ricardo J. Caballero & Alp Simsek, 2020. "A Model of Endogenous Risk Intolerance and LSAPs: Asset Prices and Aggregate Demand in a “Covid-19” Shock," NBER Working Papers 27044, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Serdar Birinci & Fatih Karahan & Yusuf Mercan & Kurt See, 2020. "Labor Market Policies During an Epidemic," Staff Working Papers 20-54, Bank of Canada.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E2 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment
    • E6 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26984. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.