Reflecting Upon the Costs of Lockdown

The Western Australian Jurist (November 2020, volume 11)

27 Pages Posted: 20 Aug 2020

See all articles by Rex Ahdar

Rex Ahdar

University of Otago - Faculty of Law; University of Notre Dame Australia - University of Notre Dame Australia, School of Law, Students

Date Written: August 19, 2020

Abstract

This paper endeavours to show that the indirect, downstream and long-term costs of a mandated lockdown in response to severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) producing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) are too often ignored. The New Zealand Government did not much talk about them at the time it implemented a strict lockdown based upon its elimination strategy. Yet rational public policy requires these costs need to be taken into account and weighed against the benefits of the strict lockdown approach that New Zealand adopted. Furthermore, the costs and benefits of a milder mitigation strategy (of the kind Sweden adopted) also need to be estimated and compared to the strict lockdown approach. I argue the mitigation strategy was and is a preferable one once the indirect and long-term costs and benefits are taken into account.

Keywords: COVID-19, lockdown, mitigation approach, elimination costs, New Zealand

JEL Classification: K10, I118

Suggested Citation

Ahdar, Rex, Reflecting Upon the Costs of Lockdown (August 19, 2020). The Western Australian Jurist (November 2020, volume 11), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3677525 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3677525

Rex Ahdar (Contact Author)

University of Otago - Faculty of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 56
Dunedin, Otago 9010
New Zealand

University of Notre Dame Australia - University of Notre Dame Australia, School of Law, Students ( email )

Sydney Campus
New South Wales
Australia

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