India's Lockdown: An Interim Report

72 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2020

See all articles by Debraj Ray

Debraj Ray

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics; Autonomous University of Barcelona - Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC)

S. Subramanian

Madras Institute of Development Studies

Date Written: May 2020

Abstract

We provide an interim report on the Indian lockdown provoked by the covid-19 pandemic. The main topics — ranging from the philosophy of lockdown to the provision of relief measures — transcend the Indian case. A recurrent theme is the enormous visibility of covid-19 deaths worldwide, with Governments everywhere propelled to respect this visibility, developing countries perhaps even more so. In advanced economies, the cost of achieving this reduction in visible deaths is “merely” a dramatic reduction in overall economic activity, coupled with far-reaching measures to compensate those who bear such losses. But for India, a developing country with great sectoral and occupational vulnerabilities, this dramatic reduction is more than economic: it means lives lost. These lost lives, through violence, starvation, indebtedness and extreme stress (both psychological and physiological) are invisible. It is this conjunction of visibility and invisibility that drives the Indian response. The lockdown meets all international standards so far; the relief package none.

Suggested Citation

Ray, Debraj and Subramanian, S., India's Lockdown: An Interim Report (May 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w27282, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3615479

Debraj Ray (Contact Author)

New York University (NYU) - Department of Economics ( email )

269 Mercer Street, 7th Floor
New York, NY 10003
United States
212-998-8906 (Phone)
212-995-4186 (Fax)

Autonomous University of Barcelona - Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC)

Campus UAB
E-08193 Bellaterra
Spain

S. Subramanian

Madras Institute of Development Studies ( email )

Chennai
India

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