NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Economic Activity and the Value of Medical Innovation during a Pandemic

Casey B. Mulligan

NBER Working Paper No. 27060
Issued in April 2020
NBER Program(s):Economic Fluctuations and Growth, Health Economics, Public Economics

The “shutdown” economy of April 2020 is compared to a normally functioning economy both in terms of market and nonmarket activities. Three novel methods and data indicate that the shutdown puts market production 25-28 percent below normal in the short run. At an annual rate, the shutdown is costing $7 trillion, or about $15,000 per household per quarter. Employment already fell 28 million by early April 2020. These costs indicate, among other things, the value of innovation in both health and general business sectors that can accelerate the time when normal activity resumes.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w27060

 
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