Week 2

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

Building on Last Week

Macro (AD-AS Basics, preliminary analyses)