Richard Baldwin, 13 April 2020

Governments are thinking about ways to exit the COVID containment policies currently in place. While ‘exit’ is too optimistic of a word, the necessity is clear. This column argues that we should not think of this as a ‘dollars versus deaths’ trade-off, but rather as a constrained optimisation with two conflicting imperatives: keeping containment stringent enough to achieve the medical imperative, but lax enough to avoid overstretching citizens’ tolerance. Remobilising the workforce is a key element of the latter. This column uses the two-constraints approach that I introduced last week to think ahead about the various exit strategies.

CEPR Policy Research