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Halfway there? Covid policy trade-offs

Covid-19 policy
17 December 2020

12.00pm light lunch
12.30-1.30pm Presentation + Q&A


Russell McVeagh, Level 24, 157 Lambton Quay, Wellington

Register here

What do we know about policy trade-offs that could inform the Government's pandemic approach in 2021?

Governments around the world are grappling with the question of how tightly to manage the spread of Covid-19 while sustaining economies and preserving public licence for ongoing or renewed containment measures.

Apparent short-term trade-offs between saving lives and sacrificing the economy give way to the possibility of longer-term trade-offs between saving lives from the virus and the wider health and wellbeing impacts of worsening economies. Likewise, as containment measures such as quarantining, contact tracing and physical distancing lower transmission rates, and improved treatments lead to reduced mortality, the trade-offs at the early stages of the pandemic differ to from those confronted now.

In this seminar, Dave Heatley from the New Zealand Productivity Commission offers perspectives on these trade-offs – whether apparent or real – from economics, and how they might inform ongoing policy. 

Dr Martin Lally who wrote The costs and benefits of a Covid-19 lockdown will then provide a comment for 15 minutes, followed by Q&A.

About the speaker

Dave Heatley, a Principal Advisor at the New Zealand Productivity Commission, started applying an economic lens to New Zealand’s Covid-19 response pandemic in March. He writes for the Commission’s Pandemic–economics blog and would appear to be the only New Zealand public servant to have produced a cost–benefit analysis of Covid policy. Dave has worked on the Commission’s inquiry teams since its inception in 2011. 

About this seminar

This free seminar is run by Russell McVeagh and the Law & Economics Association of New Zealand. All welcome! Register here.