A Cost–Benefit Analysis of the COVID-19 Lockdown in Ireland

30 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2021

Date Written: June 16, 2021


Since March 12th 2020, the Irish people have endured over 400 days of lockdown restrictions. To this day, the government has failed to present the benefits versus the costs of implementing such a draconian regime on the population of Ireland. This paper illustrates that the Quality-Adjusted Life Year (QALY) and Well-Being Year (WELLBY) metrics can be used to calculate the years of statistical lives saved as a result of the lockdown, and the statistical lives lost due to a reduction in wellbeing as a result of economic decline, increased unemployment, and social isolation. The probable scenario presented in this paper suggests that the costs of lockdown are 25 times greater than the benefits, including the cost of an additional 4,536 statistical lives.

Keywords: wellbeing, lockdown, cost-benefit, QALY, ireland

JEL Classification: I31, D61, H51, I15

Suggested Citation

Ryan, Andy, A Cost–Benefit Analysis of the COVID-19 Lockdown in Ireland (June 16, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3872861 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3872861

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