Did we see this coming? Where is this going?
This week features three sets of readings. The first two are background pieces from general interest magazines. Nicola Twilley describes a simulation exercise for the dreaded Clade X, followed by Ed Yong’s beefy piece on the US pandemic preparation strategies. In this block we also have the Centers for Disease Control’s controlling document. Does it make you feel better or worse when you see all of the US government agencies that have been thinking about this?
Next up, we follow up last weeks material with the piece from Neil Ferguson and his Imperial College crew. It is somewhat of an understatement to say that they have been at the fore of the analytics on projections. Notice how they use our SIR-type models from last week to project SIR-type stuff. The initial predictions created quite a stir, which as of March 18 is summarized in the post by Tyler Cowen.
The 20-minute video from 3Blue1Brown shows some SIR simulations and is an extremely good use of your time. Paul Romer provides a short and excellent piece on the role of testing in containment, including some visualizations.
That moves us along as far as disease contagion, but what about the economy? Ed Dolan provides us a nice slide deck that works through the basic dynamics of using an Aggregate Demand-Aggregate Supply model. (If you are not familiar with the AD-AS model, check out the online textbook or the slate of MRU videos). Dolan emphasizes the potential supply-side impacts, and writing for The Hill, Chris Moore provides some color to this argument. How big of a hit is the “economy” going to take? YiLi Chien gives us some possibilities.
The notes for 4/14 contain some information about the Super Foreceaster predictions and the extreme volatility of the IMHE predictions. The consensus view is that there will be more than 2.3 million total US cases over the next twelve months, with most forecasters expecting fewer than 350,000 deaths. The 4/16 notes include a heavy does of the material from Ed Dolan’s slide deck from his Niskanen Center materials.
Preparing for a Pandemic
- Nicola Twilley, “The Terrifying Lessons of a Pandemic Simulation ,” New Yorker, June 1, 2018
- Ed Yong, “The Next Plague is Coming, Is America Ready?” The Atlantic Monthly, July / August 2018 (Optional, pp. 1-7 recommended)
- National Pandemic Strategy, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Pandemic Intervals Framework, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Building on Last Week
- Neil Ferguson, et al. “Report 9: Impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) to reduce COVID19 mortality and healthcare demand.” (March 16, 2020). (summary here)
- Tyler Cowen, ‘Herd Immunity’, Time Consistency, and the Epidemic Yo Yo, Marginal Revolution blog, March 18, 2020
- 3Blue1Brown, “Simulating an epidemic”
- Paul Romer, “Testing People and Targeted Isolation: How to Save More Lives (and the American Economy),” Pro-market blog, March 27, 2020.
- IGM Forum on testing (read the comments, too)
Macro (AD-AS Basics, preliminary analyses)
- Ed Dolan, “The Coronavirus and the Economy: A Tutorial ,” Niskanen Center blog
- Chris Edwards, “Boost supply, not demand, during the pandemic,” The Hill, March 19, 2020
- YiLi Chien “How bad can it be? The relationship between GDP growth and the unemployment rate,” FRED blog, April 1, 2020