Economist: Societal Costs of COVID-19 Outweigh Individual Costs

Over the past month, as states began to reopen their economies, COVID-19 infection rates began increasing. With 2.4 million cases diagnosed in the United States so far, last week, 32 states reported an increase in new cases of the COVID-19 virus over the previous week. Some states slowed or reversed reopening plans in the face of the increases, with Texas closing bars and scaling restaurants back to 50% capacity.

As states reassess their economic responses to the spread of the virus, economist Anton Korinek, an associate professor with a joint appointment in the University of Virginia’s Department of Economics and the Darden School of Business, has turned his attention to COVID-19 and its impact on the economy.

Korinek and UVA colleague Zachary A. Bethune, an assistant professor of economics, have written a paper, “Covid-19 Infection Externalities: Trading Off Lives vs. Livelihoods,” which has been distributed by both the U.S.-based National Bureau of Economic Research and the London-based Centre for Economic Policy Research and published in Covid Economics.

Korinek’s areas of expertise include macroeconomics, international finance and inequality, with other recent research investigating the implications of automation and artificial intelligence for macroeconomic dynamics and inequality.

/University of Virginia Public Release. View in full here.