The Cost of Secrecy: Welfare Effects of the Disclosure of COVID-19 Cases

5/12/2020; 59 minutes

In the fight against the COVID-19, South Korea's case stands out. The country, despite facing a large outbreak, was able to flatten the curve of new infections without shutting down its economy. Transparent information about the positive cases has helped South Korea not only to maximize the odds of testing the people most likely to be infected, but also has allowed people to engage in "targeted" social distancing by avoiding places visited by those that tested positive.

In this talk, Professor Stephan Haggard and Professor Munseob Lee discussed South Korea's strategies. Lee introduces his recent work on measuring welfare effect of the disclosure. Data from mobile phone company quantifies degree of "targeted" social distancing. By combining meta-population SIR model in epidemiology and quantitative spatial model in economics, Lee described the trade-off between public health and economic output, and provides evidence-based policy recommendations. Recorded on 05/04/2020.

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