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The Effectiveness of Life-Preserving Investments in Times of COVID-19

Jules H. van Binsbergen, Christian C. Opp

NBER Working Paper No. 27382
Issued in June 2020
NBER Program(s):Corporate Finance, Health Economics

We analyze the effectiveness of preventive investments aimed at increasing agents' life expectancy, with a focus on influenza and COVID-19 mitigation. Maximizing overall life expectancy requires allocating resources across hazards so as to equalize investments' marginal effectiveness. Based on estimates for the marginal effectiveness of influenza vaccines, we determine the level of COVID-19 mitigation investments that would imply such equalization. Given current projections for COVID-19 mitigation costs, our results suggest that wide-spread influenza vaccination would be an effective life-preserving investment.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w27382

 
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