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For me there are too many variables that one can conclude one way or another any "net benefit". The study does crunch a lot of numbers however.This study employs a value-of-production approach that values the benefits of each prevented COVID-19 death in terms of avoided losses to production. This differs significantly from the value of a statistical life (VSL) commonly employed in cost-benefit analysis. The VSL is not a good fit for situations when the risks of death are large and affect relatively identifiable groups of people, as is the case with COVID-19 deaths. Moreover, the VSL represents an estimate of the value of life based on a small segment of society’s preferences, not the preferences of society more broadly.
The choice between saving the economy and saving human lives was, and still is, a false one. In a global pandemic that has affected economic activity the world over, severe economic pain was inevitable, government shutdown or not. Voluntary actions by businesses, schools, and individuals began shutting the economy down before the government got involved. The public’s determination to avoid disease made a recessionary downturn unavoidable. This determination will also be critical to getting the economy back on its feet as soon as possible.