The Macroeconomics of Testing and Quarantining
Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control,
We develop a SIR-based macroeconomic model to study the impact of testing/ quarantining and social distancing/mask use on health and economic outcomes. These policies can dramatically reduce the costs of an epidemic. Absent testing/quarantining, the main effect of social distancing and mask use on health outcomes is to delay, rather than reduce, epidemic-related deaths. Social distancing and mask use reduce the severity of the epidemic-related recession but prolong its duration. There is an important synergy between social distancing and mask use and testing/quarantining. Social distancing and mask use buy time for testing and quarantining to come to the rescue. The benefits of testing/quarantining are even larger when people can get reinfected, either because the virus mutates or immunity is temporary.
17.03.2022 • 6/2022
Price shock jeopardises recovery of German economy
Russia’s war in Ukraine is hitting the German economy primarily via an energy price shock, but also by disrupting trade flows and causing general uncertainty. At the same time, however, the economy is receiving a strong boost from the lifting of many pandemic restrictions. The Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) forecasts that gross domestic product will increase by 3.1% in 2022. The consumer price index will be 4.8% higher than one year ago. The war affects the East German eco-nomy about as hard as the economy in Germany as a whole.
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The Macroeconomics of Epidemics
Review of Financial Studies,
We extend the canonical epidemiology model to study the interaction between economic decisions and epidemics. Our model implies that people cut back on consumption and work to reduce the chances of being infected. These decisions reduce the severity of the epidemic but exacerbate the size of the associated recession. The competitive equilibrium is not socially optimal because infected people do not fully internalize the effect of their economic decisions on the spread of the virus. In our benchmark model, the best simple containment policy increases the severity of the recession but saves roughly half a million lives in the United States.
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