COVID-19 and the Economy

There seems to be a belief (not mine) that there is a trade off between managing COVID-19 and damaging the economy of a country. Certainly harsh shutdowns will stop the spread of COVID-19, but this also should allow things to re-open more quickly. Some actions may also make more sense than others. Some good data from Our World In Data.

From this chart, up is more deaths and to the left is more economic damage. You want your country to be in the lower right. You don’t want your country to be in the upper left. Peru seems to be a sad outlier, but I don’t know much about what they have done in Peru. The US, Italy and UK have had lots of deaths but relatively moderate economic damage, at least when this graph was compiled. The winners (so far) Taiwan, South Korean and Lithuania. Indonesia and Japan are not far behind and are large countries. I’ll note the good outcomes of island nations in Asia. Even the Philippines isn’t doing so badly. Asian countries appear to be better prepared because of previous experience with other similar virus outbreaks like SARS. Being an island seems to help with controlling the spread from other countries.

Which countries have protected both health and the economy in the pandemic?

2 thoughts on “COVID-19 and the Economy

  1. South Korea isn’t an island and they have done quite well both in terms of the disease and the economy.

    In fact, there is a strong correlation between effectiveness at controlling the disease and robustness of the pandemic economy in all countries. The concept that there is a trade-off to be made is false.


  2. I would say South Korea operates like an island. I don’t think there is any significant overland routes for movement of good or people. Alas, I read the US is moving rapidly to the upper left…


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