Preparing for a Pandemic: Accelerating Vaccine Availability

49 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2021 Last revised: 9 May 2021

See all articles by Amrita Ahuja

Amrita Ahuja

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS)

Susan Athey

Stanford Graduate School of Business

Arthur Baker

Harvard University

Eric B. Budish

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business

Juan Camilo Castillo

University of Pennsylvania

Scott Duke Kominers

Harvard University

Michael Kremer

Harvard University

Jean Nahrae Lee

World Bank

Canice Prendergast

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Christopher M. Snyder

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research

Alexander T. Tabarrok

George Mason University - Department of Economics; Mercatus Center

Brandon Tan

Harvard University

Witold Więcek

WAW Statistical Consulting Ltd.

Date Written: February 2021

Abstract

Vaccinating the world’s population quickly in a pandemic has enormous health and economic benefits. We analyze the problem faced by governments in determining the scale and structure of procurement for vaccines. We analyze alternative approaches to procurement. We find that if the goal is to accelerate the vaccine delivery timetable, buyers should directly fund manufacturing capacity and shoulder most of the risk of failure, while maintaining some direct incentives for speed. We analyzed the optimal portfolio of vaccine investments for countries with different characteristics as well as the implications for international cooperation. Our analysis, considered in light of the experience of 2020, suggests lessons for future pandemics.

Suggested Citation

Ahuja, Amrita and Carleton Athey, Susan and Baker, Arthur and Budish, Eric B. and Camilo Castillo, Juan and Kominers, Scott Duke and Kremer, Michael and Lee, Jean Nahrae and Prendergast, Canice and Snyder, Christopher M. and Tabarrok, Alexander T. and Tan, Brandon and Więcek, Witold, Preparing for a Pandemic: Accelerating Vaccine Availability (February 2021). NBER Working Paper No. w28492, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3790230

Amrita Ahuja (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) ( email )

79 John F. Kennedy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Susan Carleton Athey

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

Arthur Baker

Harvard University

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Eric B. Budish

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-8453 (Phone)

Juan Camilo Castillo

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Scott Duke Kominers

Harvard University ( email )

Rock Center
Harvard Business School
Boston, MA 02163
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.scottkom.com/

Michael Kremer

Harvard University

Jean Nahrae Lee

World Bank ( email )

Canice Prendergast

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-702-7309 (Phone)
773-702-0458 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Christopher M. Snyder

Dartmouth College - Department of Economics ( email )

301 Rockefeller Hall
Hanover, NH 03755
United States
(603) 646-0642 (Phone)
(603) 646-2122 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~csnyder/

National Bureau of Economic Research ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Alexander T. Tabarrok

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

MSN 1D3
4400 University Drive
Fairfax, VA 22030
United States
703-993-2314 (Phone)

Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Brandon Tan

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Witold Więcek

WAW Statistical Consulting Ltd. ( email )

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