On Coase and COVID-19

Crawford School of Public Policy
Photo by CIPE on Flikr

Event details

ACDE Seminar

Date & time

Tuesday 09 June 2020


Online via Zoom


Sinclair Davidson, RMIT University

From an epidemiological perspective, the COVID-19 pandemic is a public health crisis. From an economic perspective, it is an externality and a social cost. Strikingly, almost all economic policy to address the infection externality has been formulated within a Pigovian analysis of implicit taxes and subsidies directed by a social planner drawing on social cost-benefit analysis. In this paper, we draw on Coase (1960) to examine an alternative economic view of the externality, seeking to understand how an exchange-focused analysis might give us a better understanding of how to minimise social cost. Our Coasean framework allows us then to further develop a comparative institutional analysis as well as a public choice theory analysis of the pandemic response.

Updated:  6 July 2020/Responsible Officer:  Crawford Engagement/Page Contact:  CAP Web Team