ROBIN HANSON: 2 Lockdown Cost-Benefit Analyses.
ANALYSIS #1: One the one side are costs of economic disruption. I estimate that a typical strong lockdown cuts 27% of econ/social value gained per unit time, relative to income. (Though some double this estimate when accounting for stress and mental health harms.) If lockdown last 4 months, perhaps on and off spread out over a longer period, that’s a total of 9% of a year’s income lost.
On the other side are losses due to infection. I estimate an average infection fatality rate (IFR) of 0.5%, and half as much additional harm to those who don’t die, due to other infection harms. I estimate that eventually half would get infected, and assume the recovered are immune. Because most victims are old, the average number of life years lost seems to be about 12. (Though time discounting and quality adjustment arguably cut that figure in half.) And a standard health-econ estimate is that a life-year is worth about twice annual income. Multiply these together and you get an expected loss of 9% of a year’s income..