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The Hammer and the Dance: Equilibrium and Optimal Policy during a Pandemic Crisis

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Listed:
  • Fève, Patrick
  • Assenza, Tiziana
  • Collard, Fabrice
  • Dupaigne, Martial
  • Hellwig, Christian
  • Kankanamge, Sumudu
  • Werquin, Nicolas

Abstract

We develop a comprehensive framework for analyzing optimal economic policy during a pandemic crisis in a dynamic economic model that trades off pandemic-induced mortality costs against the adverse economic impact of policy interventions. We use the comparison between the planner problem and the dynamic decentralized equilibrium to highlight the margins of policy intervention and describe optimal policy actions. As our main conclusion, we provide a strong and novel economic justification for the current approach to dealing with the pandemic, which is different from the existing health policy rationales. This justification is based on a simple economic concept, the shadow price of infection risks, which succinctly captures the static and dynamic trade-offs and externalities between economic prosperity and mortality risk as the pandemic unfolds.

Suggested Citation

  • Fève, Patrick & Assenza, Tiziana & Collard, Fabrice & Dupaigne, Martial & Hellwig, Christian & Kankanamge, Sumudu & Werquin, Nicolas, 2020. "The Hammer and the Dance: Equilibrium and Optimal Policy during a Pandemic Crisis," TSE Working Papers 20-1099, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
  • Handle: RePEc:tse:wpaper:124248
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Facundo Piguillem & Liyan Shi, 2020. "Optimal COVID-19 Quarantine and Testing Policies," EIEF Working Papers Series 2004, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance (EIEF), revised Apr 2020.
    2. Krueger, Dirk & Uhlig, Harald & Xie, Taojun, 2020. "Macroeconomic Dynamics and Reallocation in an Epidemic: Evaluating the "Swedish Solution''," CEPR Discussion Papers 14607, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    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.
    4. Goenka, Aditya & Liu, Lin & Nguyen, Manh-Hung, 2014. "Infectious diseases and economic growth," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 34-53.
    5. Aditya Goenka & Lin Liu, 2020. "Infectious diseases, human capital and economic growth," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 70(1), pages 1-47, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sangmin Aum & Sang Yoon (Tim) Lee & Yongseok Shin, 2020. "Who Should Work from Home during a Pandemic? The Wage-Infection Trade-off," NBER Working Papers 27908, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Emanuel Ornelas, 2020. "Lockdown 101: Managing Economic Lockdowns in an Epidemic," CESifo Working Paper Series 8455, CESifo.
    3. Matti Liski & Francois Salanie, 2020. "Catastrophes, delays, and learning," Working Papers 2020.20, FAERE - French Association of Environmental and Resource Economists.
    4. Viral V. Acharya & Zhengyang Jiang & Robert J. Richmond & Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, 2020. "Divided We Fall: International Health and Trade Coordination During a Pandemic," NBER Working Papers 28176, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Pollinger, Stefan, 2020. "Optimal Case Detection and Social Distancing Policies to Suppress COVID-19," TSE Working Papers 20-1109, Toulouse School of Economics (TSE).
    6. Francesco Flaviano Russo, 2020. "Epidemics and Policy: The Dismal Trade-off," CSEF Working Papers 570, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    7. David E. Bloom & Michael Kuhn & Klaus Prettner, 2020. "Modern Infectious Diseases: Macroeconomic Impacts and Policy Responses," NBER Working Papers 27757, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Eric Budish, 2020. "Maximize Utility subject to R≤1: A Simple Price-Theory Approach to Covid-19 Lockdown and Reopening Policy," NBER Working Papers 28093, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Francesco Flaviano Russo, 2020. "Testing Policies During an Epidemic," CSEF Working Papers 591, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy.
    10. Domenico Delli Gatti & Severin Reissl, 2020. "ABC: An Agent Based Exploration of the Macroeconomic Effects of Covid-19," CESifo Working Paper Series 8763, CESifo.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models
    • H0 - Public Economics - - General
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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