The Effectiveness of Life-Preserving Investments in Times of COVID-19

26 Pages Posted: 13 May 2020

See all articles by Jules H. van Binsbergen

Jules H. van Binsbergen

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Christian C. Opp

University of Rochester - Simon Business School; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Date Written: May 13, 2020

Abstract

We analyze the effectiveness of preventive investments aimed at increasing agents' life expectancy, with a focus on influenza and COVID-19 mitigation. Maximizing overall life expectancy requires allocating resources across hazards so as to equalize investments' marginal effectiveness. Based on estimates for the marginal effectiveness of influenza vaccines, we determine the level of COVID-19 mitigation investments that would imply such equalization. Given current projections for COVID-19 mitigation costs, our results suggest that wide-spread influenza vaccination would be an effective life-preserving investment.

Keywords: COVID-19, mitigation, life-preserving investments, life expectancy, influenza, vaccination

Suggested Citation

van Binsbergen, Jules H. and Opp, Christian C., The Effectiveness of Life-Preserving Investments in Times of COVID-19 (May 13, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3600359 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3600359

Jules H. Van Binsbergen

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

3641 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.nber.org/people/jules_vanbinsbergen

Christian C. Opp (Contact Author)

University of Rochester - Simon Business School ( email )

Rochester, NY 14627
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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