The coronavirus pandemic is of course primarily a social crisis, but the fiscal costs are also important. A sharp and sustained deterioration in the public finances could have major implications for future government spending and taxation. Many are already asking 'how will we pay for all this?' and worried about the prospect of 'Austerity 2.0'. … Continue reading How will we pay for all this?
The coronavirus pandemic is, of course, first and foremost a social crisis. It is testing the limits of the NHS, bringing out the best in our doctors, nurses and carers, and many others on whom we all rely. But it is also a huge challenge for policymakers who are trying to protect businesses, jobs and … Continue reading What can economic history teach us about the lockdown?
The UK government’s daily coronavirus briefing on Friday drew more attention to a question that has already been troubling many people: could the wider economic and health impacts of the fight against Covid-19 actually do more harm than the virus itself? My view, for what it’s worth, is that it is right to err on … Continue reading Could the lockdown cost more lives than it saves?
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…