Road to Recovery: From Extinguishing An Epidemic to Managing It

19 Pages Posted: 30 Apr 2020

See all articles by Simon Loertscher

Simon Loertscher

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Ellen Muir

Stanford University - Department of Economics

Date Written: April 23, 2020

Abstract

Without widespread immunization of the population or complete eradication of the virus, the road to recovery from the current COVID-19 lockdowns will follow a path that strikes the difficult balance between the social and economic benefits of liberty and the death toll from the disease. We provide an approach that combines epidemiology and economic models by taking as given the constraint that the maximum capacity of the health care system must not be exceeded. Treating the transmission rate as a decreasing function of the severity of the lockdown, we determine the minimal lockdown that satisfies this constraint.

Keywords: COVID-19, SIR models, capacity constraints, managing an epidemic

JEL Classification: H51, I18

Suggested Citation

Loertscher, Simon and Muir, Ellen, Road to Recovery: From Extinguishing An Epidemic to Managing It (April 23, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3584997 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3584997

Simon Loertscher

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, 3010
Australia

Ellen Muir (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

Landau Economics Building
579 Serra Mall
STANFORD, CA 94305-6072
United States

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