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

27 Pages Posted: 22 Jun 2020 Last revised: 27 Oct 2022

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 Opp

University of Rochester

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: June 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.

Suggested Citation

van Binsbergen, Jules H. and Opp, Christian, The Effectiveness of Life-Preserving Investments in Times of Covid-19 (June 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w27382, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3632608

Jules H. Van Binsbergen (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

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Christian Opp

University of Rochester

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