Research Alert

Each month, COVID-19 kills hundreds of thousands of people, reduces global gross domestic product (GDP) by hundreds of billions of dollars, and generates large, accumulating losses to human capital by harming education and health. Achieving widespread immunization 1 month faster would thus save many lives and mitigate short- and long-run economic harm. Although the value of vaccines may seem obvious, government action and investment in vaccines have not been commensurate with the enormous scale of benefits, with many countries not likely to achieve widespread immunization until the end of 2022.

In this paper, recently published in Science, Stanford Graduate School of Business Professor of Economics (by courtesy) Susan Athey and 15 co-authors argue that investing in a greater capacity for vaccine development now will pay enormous dividends in both lives saved and economic harm averted.