Since responding to Toby Young's article here I've come across a few interesting US papers on the economics of pandemics. These studies (which have also been picked up elsewhere) support the view that the coronavirus lockdown is indeed 'worth it'... First, a cost-benefit analysis of social distancing for the US, which suggests that the benefits … Continue reading Is it worth it? a brief PS…
Given that even ‘profit’ now seems to be dirty word, it is no surprise that being accused of ‘profiteering’ during a crisis is about as bad as it can get. But there are some circumstances when an increase in prices in response to exceptional demand can actually be a good thing. By definition, ‘profiteering’ is … Continue reading Can ‘profiteering’ ever be justified?
How hard will coronavirus hit UK GDP? This may seem like the wrong question to ask in the midst of a health emergency. The new coronavirus outbreak is a social crisis above all else. Even in narrow economic terms, some sort of hit to GDP is inevitable and even desirable: we actually want many people … Continue reading UK economy makes a handbrake turn
I’ve not said much about the impact of the new coronavirus, partly because it’s a human tragedy and commenting on the economic and market implications can seem insensitive. It can also be hard not to appear complacent. But given the mounting concerns, reflected in the sharp falls in global equity prices in the past week, … Continue reading First thoughts on the coronavirus outbreak