We analyze the determination of the optimal intensity and duration of social distancing policy aiming to control the spread of an infectious disease in a simple macroeconomic-epidemiological model. In our setting the social planner wishes to minimize the social costs associated with the levels of disease prevalence and output lost due to social distancing, both during and at the end of epidemic management program. Indeed, by limiting individuals' ability to freely move or interact with others (since requiring to wear face mask or to maintain physical distance from others, or even forcing some businesses to remain closed), social distancing has on the one hand the effect to reduce the disease incidence and on the other hand to reduce the economy's productive capacity. We analyze both the early and the advanced epidemic stage intervention strategies highlighting their implications for short and long run health and macroeconomic outcomes. We show that both the intensity and the duration of the optimal social distancing policy may largely vary according to the epidemiological characteristics of specific diseases, and that the balancing of the health benefits and economic costs associated with social distancing may require to accept the disease to reach an endemic state. Focusing in particular on COVID-19 we present a calibration based on Italian data showing how the optimal social distancing policy may vary if implemented at national or at regional level.

Epidemics and macroeconomic outcomes: social distancing intensity and duration

Marsiglio S
2021-01-01

Abstract

We analyze the determination of the optimal intensity and duration of social distancing policy aiming to control the spread of an infectious disease in a simple macroeconomic-epidemiological model. In our setting the social planner wishes to minimize the social costs associated with the levels of disease prevalence and output lost due to social distancing, both during and at the end of epidemic management program. Indeed, by limiting individuals' ability to freely move or interact with others (since requiring to wear face mask or to maintain physical distance from others, or even forcing some businesses to remain closed), social distancing has on the one hand the effect to reduce the disease incidence and on the other hand to reduce the economy's productive capacity. We analyze both the early and the advanced epidemic stage intervention strategies highlighting their implications for short and long run health and macroeconomic outcomes. We show that both the intensity and the duration of the optimal social distancing policy may largely vary according to the epidemiological characteristics of specific diseases, and that the balancing of the health benefits and economic costs associated with social distancing may require to accept the disease to reach an endemic state. Focusing in particular on COVID-19 we present a calibration based on Italian data showing how the optimal social distancing policy may vary if implemented at national or at regional level.
2021
La Torre, D; Liuzzi, D; Marsiglio, S
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/1076157
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