Grant award to study the economic impacts of social distancing policies

Monday, Apr 13, 2020

Natalie Cox and Arlene Wong, both assistant professsors of economics and JRCPPF faculty affiliates, received a grant from Princeton University for a project that will evaluate the economic implications and cost of Covid-19 social distancing policies.

This project was one of seven faculty-led research initiatives selected through a competitive process. Princeton University established this rapid-funding mechanism in late-March to accelerate research on fundamental health, science and policy quetsions related to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Bachas and Wong will analyze data collected on the pandemic to investigate the macroeconomic effects of various government social distancing measures in order to evaluate the “optimal level" of social distancing that balances both economic and health outcomes. Using an event study framework, the researchers will estimate the magnitude and dynamics of the economic impacts of social distancing and their distribution. These estimates will help guide the policy debate on how to flatten both the infection curve and the economic cost curve. The researchers will also explore the economic spillovers of enforced business closures and evaluate the effectiveness of the policies such as government payouts to households.

Papers, Videos, and Slides

Property Rights & Taxation

Moderator: Atif Mian, Princeton University

Anthony Lee Zhang, Ph.D. Candidate, Stanford Graduate School of Business
"Competition Policy and Price Discovery" | Slides


Matthew Prewitt, Deputy Director, RadicalxChange
"Ownership & Punishment" | Slides


Robin Hanson, Associate Professor of Economics, George Mason University
"Decentralized Zoning via Conditional Harberger Taxes" | Slides

Decentralization and Competition

Moderator: Ernest Liu, Princeton University

Steve Randy Waldman,
"a tao of (de)centralization" | Slides

Rachel Cummings, Assistant Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering and Computer Science, Georgia Tech
"Market Design for Personal Data" | Slides

Ioana Marinescu, Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Pennsylvania
"Labor Market Concentration and Legal Implications" | Slides


Moderator: Karsten Müller, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Princeton University

Devon Zuegel, Engineer, Github
"What can physical infrastructure teach us about open source?" | Slides

Zoë Hitzig, Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Economics, Harvard University
"Optimal Matching Funds for Public Goods" | Slides

Nicole Immorlica, Senior Researcher, Microsoft Research-New England
"Quadratic Voting" | Slides




Ananya Chakravarti, Assistant Professor of History, Georgetown University
"Multidisciplinary Academic Research and RadicalxChange" | Slides 

Lucas Geiger, Co-founder, Wireline
"Open-source cloud application marketplaces" | Slides 

Aparna Krishnan, Executive Vice-President, Blockchain Berkeley
"Mechanism Design and Decentralized Finance" | Slides

Moderator: Matthew Prewitt, RadicalxChange

Video of Session 4: Organization


Keynote: The Political Economy of Increasing Returns
Glen Weyl, Principal Researcher, Microsoft Research and Visiting Research Scholar, Princeton University
"The Political Economy of Increasing Returns" | Slides 

Video of Keynote Address