Targeted Policies and The Pox of Liberty
This is both less and more reading than it looks like. The Mulligan et al. piece is just out and lays out a straightforward explications of economist on CoVID-19 policy. Next up is a very provocative MIT piece by Daron Acemoglu and his colleagues that tweaks the SIR model and gives some astonishing results — you can watch Prof. Acemoglu present the basic results in the Princeton seminar video. Finally for this section, what do you think of Paul Romer’s argument about soda v. testing? In his Q&A pay close attention to what he has to say about digital tracing.
After getting through that, it’s time to get back to our historical survey, and this week we do that with Werner Troesken’s work. What is the thesis of his book? How does it relate to what Acemoglu et al. and Romer had to say?
Pulling it Together & Moving Forward: Policy Options out of Chicago, MIT
- Casey B. Mulligan, Kevin M. Murphy, and Robert H. Topel, “Some basic economics of COVID-19 policy,” Chicago Booth Review, April 27, 2020
- Daron Acemoglu, Victor Chernozhukov, Iván Werning, and Michael D. Whinston A Multi-Risk SIR Model with Optimally Targeted Lockdown, NBER Working Paper 27102, May 2020
- Princeton BCF Webinar with Daron Acemoglu https://youtu.be/NqtS8MZBuZ0?t=409
- Paul Romer, “If Virus Tests Were Sodas,” Paul Romer’s blog, April 28, 2020
- Issac Chotiner, “Paul Romer’s Case for Nationwide Coronavirus Testing,” New Yorker, May 3, 2020
Smallpox and a Provocative Theory
- Werner Troesken “Introduction,” Chapter 1 in The Pox of Liberty: How the Constitution Left Americans Rich, Free, and Prone to Infection. University of Chicago Press, 2015.
- Werner Troesken “The Pox of Liberty,” Chapter 4 in The Pox of Liberty: How the Constitution Left Americans Rich, Free, and Prone to Infection. University of Chicago Press, 2015.
- Keith Humphreys Twitter thread, possible concilliance (optional, relevant, brief)
- Tyler Cowen, “Forced Quarantines Are Not the American Way,” Bloomberg News, May 13, 2020 (optional, also relevant, could that have been any more timely?)
Professor Snowden’s take:
- (Optional) Frank Snowden, “Smallpox before Edward Jenner,” Chapter 6 of Epidemics and Society , Yale University Press, 2019.
- (Optional) Frank Snowden, “The Historical Impact of Smallpox,” Chapter 7 of Epidemics and Society, Yale University Press, 2019.
- (Optional) Frank Snowden, “Smallpox: The Speckled Monster,” and ” Smallpox: Jenner, Vaccination, and Eradication,” Lectures fromYale Open Courses.