Towards a Model of Optimal Social Distancing During a Pandemic

23 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2020

See all articles by Steven Balkin

Steven Balkin

Roosevelt University

John F. McDonald

University of Illinois at Chicago

Date Written: June 1, 2020

Abstract

The approach to reducing the current harm from the COVID-19 disease is to mandate or encourage an array of social distancing behaviors. These behaviors have the negative effects of reducing GDP, personal incomes, and increasing unemployment leading to calls for opening up the economy and thereby reducing social distancing. This makes more sense to do in developing economies which lack the private and public safety nets to compensate for the lost income. However, if this opening-up policy is followed, we suggest that social distancing be maintained at the level that minimizes deaths.

Keywords: Health, Public Health, Regulation

JEL Classification: I18, H12

Suggested Citation

Balkin, Steven and McDonald, John F., Towards a Model of Optimal Social Distancing During a Pandemic (June 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3616229 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3616229

Steven Balkin (Contact Author)

Roosevelt University ( email )

Chicago, IL 60605
United States

John F. McDonald

University of Illinois at Chicago ( email )

Chicago, IL 60605
United States
312-281-3287 (Phone)
312-281-3123 (Fax)

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