The Cost of Privacy: Welfare Effects of the Disclosure of Covid-19 Cases

21 Pages Posted: 15 May 2020 Last revised: 22 Jul 2020

See all articles by David Argente

David Argente

Pennsylvania State University

Chang-Tai Hsieh

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business; University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Munseob Lee

University of California, San Diego (UCSD)

Date Written: July 21, 2020

Abstract

South Korea publicly disclosed detailed location information of individuals that tested positive for COVID-19. We quantify the effect of public disclosure on the transmission of the virus and economic losses in Seoul. The change in commuting patterns due to public disclosure lowers the number of cases by 200 thousand and the number of deaths by 7.7 thousand in Seoul over two years. Compared to a city-wide lock-down that results in the same number of cases over two years as the disclosure scenario, the economic cost of such a lockdown is almost four times higher.

Suggested Citation

Argente, David and Hsieh, Chang-Tai and Lee, Munseob, The Cost of Privacy: Welfare Effects of the Disclosure of Covid-19 Cases (July 21, 2020). University of Chicago, Becker Friedman Institute for Economics Working Paper No. 2020-64, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3601143 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3601143

David Argente

Pennsylvania State University ( email )

606 Kern Building
State College, PA 16801
United States

Chang-Tai Hsieh (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Booth School of Business ( email )

5807 S. Woodlawn Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
United States

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Economics ( email )

549 Evans Hall #3880
Berkeley, CA 94720-3880
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Munseob Lee

University of California, San Diego (UCSD) ( email )

9500 Gilman Drive
#0519
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519
United States

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
248
Abstract Views
1,493
rank
135,040
PlumX Metrics