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  • Today we go into what they're calling down.

  • Lock lock down 2.0, full tier four locked down for the entire country or the United Kingdom.

  • And there's a lot of people watching from around the world.

  • Um, is this the best decision from an economic perspective, in your opinion?

  • And what are some of the costs that this will lead Thio?

  • Well, I think relative to the first lock down which came in the U.

  • K.

  • You know, starting toward the end of March and ended up actually lasting almost three months.

  • If it does turn out to be one month, then pretty obviously the the economic damage and costs that that will do on indeed the sort of knock on mental health cost would be proportionately lower than the three month locked down.

  • So at least there's the prospect that it may last significantly less than the lock down that started towards the end off March, and whether or not this one is justified, Um, I think is a tricky judgment.

  • Clearly, with a very difficult position in the U.

  • K.

  • Right now, there are no easy ways forward.

  • The infection has increased a lot on bond I'm sure sage is right that there is a risk, a significant risk off hospitals being overwhelmed in some parts of the country, whether or not a national lock down when we.

  • One thing we do know is that the infection is running at different rates in different parts of the UK.

  • Whether a sort of national lock down is the optimal strategy is somewhat less obvious.

  • But at least if it were in place for four weeks and that does bring down the infection rate rapidly on, then we could start easing the restrictions on Go back to something which is a bit mawr differentiated by region of the UK Um, that would be a less damaging weight forward than than what we had that run through March April on most of May and into June.

  • Right now I understand it would be less.

  • I'm just trying toe also try to quantify what this will actually mean because we keep, you know, we we know that, for example, the hospitality sector was kind of barely hanging on.

  • We know that certain businesses were just starting to make a comeback, but now a lot of them have said this extra month is gonna put them out of business.

  • That's one thing to hear the anecdotal stories of people losing their businesses.

  • But it's great to have an economist like you to talk and to say, Well, how is that gonna actually quantify into lives lost changes in mental health over the coming years?

  • Is there any is there any way toe explain what that is too Well, there's a lot of evidence that if if restrictions that we're about to see in the UK word to cost substantial numbers of jobs because some firms as you say are on the brink already in another 45 weeks might mean that they just don't reopen and therefore you lose jobs not just for a month or two, but maybe permanently.

  • We do know that the cost off a big reduction in employment, which is likely to last for a substantial period, is very large.

  • So one of my colleagues at Imperial College, very eminent public health economist, called Carol Proper.

  • She recently produced some analysis.

  • I think it's very careful analysis which would suggest that if you go back to the financial crisis on the scale of job losses in the U K back then in the aftermath of September October 2000 and eight.

  • The job losses that we saw in the UK back then, she estimates, increased the number of people with chronic health conditions by something like 900,000.

  • And they become chronic health conditions with obviously an enormous health and welfare costs stretching far into the future, that those were employment losses on the scale that we saw in 28 29.

  • Right now, employment in the UK is probably down since the pandemic started by at least a much as that.

  • So it's very clear that if you have employment costs that are large, the long term damage that that does the welfare of people in the country is absolutely enormous.

  • That, but I think is very clear.

  • I think what's a little bit more difficult to work out right now, Given that the infection rates have moved up a lot in a short period on, there is no doubt a risk off hospitals being over one in some parts of the country.

  • Whether a strategy short off a lock down would end up generating, um, such panic in the short run that you'd end up with something as bad as a four week locked down anyway.

  • So I guess where I come down on Aled this is that if what we see right now in the UK is really a short, sharp lock down that succeeds in bringing the infection rate down quickly on, we can ease restrictions back in much of the country within three or four weeks.

  • That may well be a sensible strategy.

  • On the other hand, if this is a lock down where we think we need to keep this in place more or less indefinitely until a vaccine comes along, I think it's likely to be a very, very damaging strategy on one which would not pass any sensible cost benefits analysis.

  • So the question is, what is it we're about to embark on in the UK?

  • Is it really the short, sharp three or four weeks, or is it a more open ended thing that we end up needing to keep in place?

  • Or at least the government thinks we need to keep in place for much longer?

  • And I think it's very unlikely that second sort of lock down would pass any kind of sensible cost benefit analysis.

Today we go into what they're calling down.

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A2 lock employment infection analysis strategy cost

LOCKDOWN 2.0: What Are Some Of The Costs This Second Lockdown Could Lead To - Professor David Miles

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/11/19
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