Walking the Tightrope: Avoiding a Lockdown While Containing the Virus

37 Pages Posted: 28 Dec 2020

See all articles by Balázs Égert

Balázs Égert

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD); CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); Université Paris X Nanterre - Department of Economics; William Davidson Institute

Yvan Guillemette

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Economics Department (ECO)

Fabrice Murtin

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

David Turner

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

Empirical work described in this paper explains the daily evolution of the reproduction rate, R, and mobility for a large sample of countries, in terms of containment and public health policies. This is with a view to providing insight into the appropriate policy stance as countries prepare for a potentially protracted period characterised by new infection waves. While a comprehensive package of containment measures may be necessary when the virus is widespread and can have a large effect on reducing R, they also have effect on mobility and, by extension, economic activity. A wide-ranging package of public health policies – with an emphasis on comprehensive testing, tracing and isolation, but also including mask-wearing and policies directed at vulnerable groups, especially those in care homes – offer the best approach to avoiding a full lockdown while containing the spread of the virus. Such policies may, however, need to be complemented by selective containment measures (such as restricting large public events and international travel or localised lockdowns) both to contain local outbreaks and because implementing some of the recommended public health policies may be difficult to achieve or have unacceptable social costs.

JEL Classification: C500, H100, H120, I180

Suggested Citation

Egert, Balazs and Guillemette, Yvan and Murtin, Fabrice and Turner, David, Walking the Tightrope: Avoiding a Lockdown While Containing the Virus (2020). CESifo Working Paper No. 8797, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3754688

Balazs Egert (Contact Author)

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Université Paris X Nanterre - Department of Economics

Nanterre Cedex, 92001
France

William Davidson Institute

724 E. University Ave.
Wyly Hall
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1234
United States

Yvan Guillemette

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) - Economics Department (ECO) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, MO 63108
France

Fabrice Murtin

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

David Turner

Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) ( email )

2 rue Andre Pascal
Paris Cedex 16, 75775
France

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