Trading off consumption vs. covid-19 deaths

Somehow I missed this April 6 paper by Hall, Jones, and Klenow:

This short note develops a framework for thinking about the following question: What is the maximum amount of consumption that a utilitarian welfare function would be willing to trade off to avoid the deaths associated with COVID-19? Our baseline answer is 26%, or around 1/4 of one year’s consumption.

So what does that imply for optimal policy?  Will we manage to lose both?  Via Ivan Werning.


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