Model behaviour

This latest report from UK think tank the IEA looks at how economists can shape a post Covid-19 world.

Epidemiology is about the process by which a disease spreads, for any given set of behaviours. It is not about understanding how behaviour might be changed so that it is different in the future to the past. Economists, along with other social scientists, have expertise in analysing how people change their behaviour when either incentives change or the set of information which they have changes. Economists have been conspicuous by their absence from the policy debate over the easing and ultimate ending of lockdown. Yet whether a second wave of Covid-19 occurs, for example, depends crucially on assumptions which are made about how people will behave. Economists should become much more active in this area.

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