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Optimal lockdowns for COVID‐19 pandemics: Analyzing the efficiency of sanitary policies in Europe

Abstract : Two main nonpharmaceutical policy strategies have been used in Europe in response to the COVID-19 epidemic: one aimed at natural herd immunity and the other at avoiding saturation of hospital capacity by crushing the curve. The two strategies lead to different results in terms of the number of lives saved on the one hand and production loss on the other hand. Using a susceptible–infected–recovered–dead model, we investigate and compare these two strategies. As the results are sensitive to the initial reproduction number, we estimate the latter for 10 European countries for each wave from January 2020 till March 2021 using a double sigmoid statistical model and the Oxford COVID-19 Government Response Tracker data set. Our results show that Denmark, which opted for crushing the curve, managed to minimize both economic and human losses. Natural herd immunity, sought by Sweden and the Netherlands does not appear to have been a particularly effective strategy, especially for Sweden, both in economic terms and in terms of lives saved. The results are more mixed for other countries, but with no evident trade-off between deaths and production losses.
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https://hal-amu.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-03430705
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Submitted on : Tuesday, November 16, 2021 - 12:55:17 PM
Last modification on : Sunday, June 26, 2022 - 3:19:41 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, February 17, 2022 - 7:32:13 PM

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Ewen Gallic, Michel Lubrano, Pierre Michel. Optimal lockdowns for COVID‐19 pandemics: Analyzing the efficiency of sanitary policies in Europe. Journal of Public Economic Theory, Wiley, In press, ⟨10.1111/jpet.12556⟩. ⟨hal-03430705⟩

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