Legal Liability and COVID-19 Recovery

6 Pages Posted: 11 May 2020

See all articles by Tyler Cowen

Tyler Cowen

George Mason University - Department of Economics; George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Trace Mitchell

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Date Written: May 8, 2020

Abstract

As hope of a quick end to the COVID-19 pandemic fades, both policymakers and analysts are shifting focus to restarting the economy. As of late April, more than 26 million Americans had filed for unemployment. Estimates of the cost of every month of partial shutdown are as high as $1.07 trillion in forgone GDP growth. The longer the shutdown continues, the greater is the risk of irreversible declines in business solvency that, in addition to all of their other costs, would hamper future US public health capabilities.

Some states are already in the process of reopening. Whether or not these reopenings are premature, they are underway, and Congress and state legislatures need to have the best possible plans ready. In this brief, we consider one key question concerning legal liability in retail and workplace settings: How can government policies restore some of America’s GDP and employment while avoiding the most egregious instances of harm to workers and customers?

Keywords: healthcare, coronavirus, coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, public health, economics, quarantine, economy, economic crisis, liability, tort law, workplace safety, OSHA

JEL Classification: I00, I18, K13, K20, K00

Suggested Citation

Cowen, Tyler and Mitchell, Trace, Legal Liability and COVID-19 Recovery (May 8, 2020). Policy Brief: COVID-19 Response, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3596305 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3596305

Tyler Cowen (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Department of Economics ( email )

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George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://www.mercatus.org/scholars/tyler-cowen

Trace Mitchell

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
2396349652 (Phone)

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