Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers,
Lund University, Department of Economics

No 2020:9: The Individual Welfare Costs of Stay-At-Home Policies

Ola Andersson (), Pol Campos-Mercade (), Fredrik Carlsson (), Florian Schneider () and Erik Wengström ()
Additional contact information
Ola Andersson: Department of Economics, Uppsala University, Postal: Sweden
Pol Campos-Mercade: Department of Economics, Copenhagen University, Postal: Denmark
Fredrik Carlsson: Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg, Postal: Sweden
Florian Schneider: Department of Economics, University of Zurich, Postal: Switzerland
Erik Wengström: Department of Economics, Lund University, Postal: Department of Economics, School of Economics and Management, Lund University, Box 7082, S-220 07 Lund, Sweden

Abstract: This paper reports the results of a choice experiment designed to estimate the private welfare costs of stay-at-home policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study is conducted on a large and representative sample of the Swedish population. The results suggest that the welfare cost of a one-month stay-at-home policy, restricting non-working hours away from home, amounts to 9.1 percent of Sweden's monthly GDP. The cost can be interpreted as 29,600 quality-adjusted life years (QALYs), which roughly corresponds to between 3,700 and 8,000 COVID-19 fatalities. Moreover, we find that stricter and longer lockdowns are disproportionately more costly than more lenient ones. This result indicates that strict stay-at-home policies are likely to be cost-effective only if they slow the spread of the disease much more than more lenient ones.

Keywords: Stay-at-home orders; welfare effects; choice experiment

JEL-codes: D62; I18

43 pages, May 25, 2020

Full text files

wp20_9.pdf PDF-file Full text

Download statistics

Questions (including download problems) about the papers in this series should be directed to Prakriti Thami ()
Report other problems with accessing this service to Sune Karlsson ().

This page generated on 2021-12-07 07:46:09.