May 3, 2020

Health vs. wealth in a pandemic

HEALTH VS. WEALTH? PUBLIC HEALTH POLICIES AND THE ECONOMY DURING
COVID-19

A NBER paper says:
A pandemic can impact an economy in many ways: reductions in people’s willingness
to work, dislocations in consumption patterns and lower consumption, added stress on the financial system, and greater uncertainty leading to lower investment. These are
respectively referred to as (labor) supply shocks, demand shocks, financial shocks and
uncertainty shocks. Connected economies and epidemiological communities also move in synch. Even a healthy economy, or an economy that has not mandated a shutdown, may feel the impact of external events. With the exception of the 1918 influenza, recent
pandemics have neither had as large of a global impact, nor has there been as much real
time data available to empirically assess the economic and public health impact of NPIs.
We study outcomes during the Covid-19 pandemic.
We have three main results. First, our analysis shows NPIs may have been effective
in slowing the growth rate of confirmed cases of Covid-19 but not in decreasing the growth rate of cumulative mortality. Second, we find evidence of spillovers. NPIs may have impacts on other jurisdictions. Finally, there is little evidence that NPIs are associated with larger declines in local economic activity than in places without NPIs.