When to Release the Lockdown? A Wellbeing Framework for Analysing Costs and Benefits

21 Pages Posted: 4 May 2020

See all articles by Richard Layard

Richard Layard

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - London School of Economics

Andrew Clark

Paris School of Economics (PSE); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Jan‐Emmanuel De Neve

University of Oxford

Christian Krekel

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - London School of Economics

Daisy Fancourt

University College London

Nancy Hey

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Gus O'Donnell

House of Lords

Abstract

It is politicians who have to decide when to release the lockdown, and in what way. In doing so, they have to balance many considerations (as with any decision). Often the different considerations appear incommensurable so that only the roughest of judgements can be made. For example, in the case of COVID-19, one has to compare the economic benefits of releasing the lockdown with the social and psychological benefits, and then compare the total of these with the increase in deaths that would result from an early exit. We here propose a way of doing this more systematically.

Keywords: well-being, COVID-19, lockdown

JEL Classification: H12, I18, I31

Suggested Citation

Layard, Richard and Clark, Andrew Eric and De Neve, Jan-Emmanuel and Krekel, Christian and Fancourt, Daisy and Hey, Nancy and O'Donnell, Gus, When to Release the Lockdown? A Wellbeing Framework for Analysing Costs and Benefits. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13186, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3590884

Richard Layard (Contact Author)

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - London School of Economics

United Kingdom

Andrew Eric Clark

Paris School of Economics (PSE) ( email )

48 Boulevard Jourdan
Paris, 75014 75014
France

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Jan-Emmanuel De Neve

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Christian Krekel

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - London School of Economics

Daisy Fancourt

University College London

Gower Street
London, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom

Nancy Hey

affiliation not provided to SSRN

No Address Available

Gus O'Donnell

House of Lords

Parliament Square
London
United Kingdom

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