A new GLO Discussion Paper provides an assessment of the targeted approach to COVID-19 containment. Under a targeted policy, the optimal containment reaches a larger portion of the population than under a blanket policy. Compared to a blanket policy, a targeted approach results in a smaller death count.
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GLO Discussion Paper No. 752, 2021
Assessing Targeted Containment Policies to Fight COVID-19 – Download PDF
by Checo, Ariadne & Grigoli, Francesco & Mota, Jose M.
GLO Fellow Francesco Grigoli
Author Abstract: The large economic costs of full-blown lockdowns in response to COVID-19 outbreaks, coupled with heterogeneous mortality rates across age groups, led to question non-discriminatory containment measures. In this paper we provide an assessment of the targeted approach to containment. We propose a SIR-macro model that allows for heterogeneous agents in terms of mortality rates and contact rates, and in which the government optimally bans people from working. We find that under a targeted policy, the optimal containment reaches a larger portion of the population than under a blanket policy and is held in place for longer. Compared to a blanket policy, a targeted approach results in a smaller death count. Yet, it is not a panacea: the recession is larger under such approach as the containment policy applies to a larger fraction of people, remains in place for longer, and herd immunity is achieved later. Moreover, we find that increased interactions between low- and high-risk individuals effectively reduce the benefits of a targeted approach to containment.
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