Externalities and Incentives: The Economics of COVID

Course Outline

Externalities and Incentives: The Economics of COVID

How can understanding externalities and incentives help us better respond to COVID-19?

The benefits of vaccines extend beyond those receiving the shot (e.g. a "positive externality") and that means that vaccines are under-incentivized. There are a variety of institutions to try to correct this; during a pandemic, these institutions don’t work so well. 

Every day without a COVID-19 vaccine means thousands of lives and billions of dollars lost. That means the positive externalities to the rapid development of a safe, effective vaccine are huge!

Alex Tabarrok dives into the positive externalities associated with vaccines and explains his research with Nobel Prize winner Michael Kremer, Susan Athey, and Chris Snyder on how to incentivize development of a vaccine for COVID-19.

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