When to lock, not whom: Managing epidemics using time-based restrictions: Managing epidemics using time-based restrictions

Yinon Bar-On, Tatiana Baron, Ofer Cornfeld, Eran Yashiv

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We present novel policy tools to manage epidemics. Rather than using prevalent population restrictions, these policy strategies are based on cyclical time restrictions. Key findings on the outcomes of such policy strategies include: a significant improvement of social welfare, substantially lessening the trade-offs between economic activity and health outcomes; optimally-derived timings of interventions are shown to suppress the disease, while maintaining reasonable economic activity; and outcomes are superior to the actual experience of New York State and Florida over the course of 2020. •We propose new time-based tools to manage epidemics and analyze them from both normative and positive perspectives.•The proposed policy relies on time restrictions and consists of alternating periods of work and lockdown, at pre-defined frequencies.•The epidemiological rationale for the proposed policy is based on the timescales of virus transmission.•Optimal application of the proposed instruments uses mandated lockdowns and takes into account endogenous individual procautionary behavior.•These policy instruments significantly lessen the trade-offs between economic outcomes and public health outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)292-321
Number of pages30
JournalReview of Economic Dynamics
Volume51
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Cyclical strategies
  • Endogenous individual response
  • Epidemic/pandemic management
  • Lockdown
  • Policy frontier
  • Social planner

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Economics and Econometrics

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