Public Policy Lessons from the COVID-19 Outbreak: How to Deal with it in the Post-Pandemic World?
Journal of Social and Economic Development, Forthcoming
18 Pages Posted: 29 Nov 2020
Date Written: November 25, 2020
Using cumulative confirmed cases of COVID-19 covering 163 countries, this paper tests several hypotheses that have received extensive attention in the popular media and academic research during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Our goal is to identify lessons for designing better public health policies in the post-pandemic era based on the past 6 months’ experiences of these 163 countries. Based on 2SLS regression, we derive the following lessons. First, providing universal health care is a significant public health strategy for countries to help deal with similar outbreaks in the future. Second, tackling air pollution is a win–win solution, not only for better preparedness against COVID-19 or other airborne diseases, but also for the environment and climate change. Third, lockdowns may help to reduce community spread but its impact on reducing COVID-19 incidence is not statistically significant. Similarly, antimalarial drugs have no significant effect on reducing the spread of the disease. Fourth, countries should encourage home-based work as much as possible until some treatment or cure is found for the virus. Fifth, the lessons of past SARS experience helped contain the spread of the infection in East Asian countries; other countries must adjust their social and cultural life to the new normal: wearing masks, washing hands, and keeping a distance from others in public places.
Keywords: COVID-19 pandemic, Universal health care, Air pollution, Public policy
JEL Classification: I1, I18, Q53
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation