When to Release the Lockdown? A Wellbeing Framework for Analysing Costs and Benefits

CEP Occassional Paper

Authors: Prof. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve Prof. Andrew Clark Dr. Christian Krekel

Richard Layard, Andrew Clark, Jan-Emmanuel De Neve, Christian Krekel, Daisy Fancourt, Nancy Hey & Gus O’Donnell


In choosing when to end the lockdown, policy-makers have to balance the impact of the decision upon incomes, unemployment, mental health, public confidence and many other factors, as well as (of course) upon the number of deaths from COVID-19. To facilitate the decision it is helpful to forecast each factor using a single metric. We use as our metric the number of Wellbeing-Years resulting from each date of ending the lockdown. This new metric makes it possible to compare the impact of each factor in a way that is relevant to all public policy decisions.

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