VoxEU Webcast

Would the US Benefit from a Lockdown: A cost-benefit analysis

Though COVID vaccines are finally available, the rate at which they are administered is slow, and in the meantime the pandemic continues to claim about as many lives every day as the 9/11 tragedy. Anna Scherbina (Brandeis University) talks to Tim Phillips about an estimate that with the promised rate of vaccinations, if no additional non-pharmaceutical interventions are implemented, 406 thousand additional lives will be lost and the future cost of the pandemic will reach $2.4 trillion, or 11% of GDP. Using a cost-benefit analysis, she finds that a lockdown would be indeed optimal and, depending on the assumptions, it should last between two and four weeks and will generate a net benefit of up to $1.2 trillion.You can find Anna's paper, Could the United States benefit from a lockdown? A cost-benefit analysis, in CEPR's Covid Economics Issue 65: 20 January 2021