Debraj Ray, S. Subramanian, Lore Vandewalle

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, a prolonged and stringent lockdown unaccompanied by adequate State provisioning of welfare support could lead to distress and loss of life in developing countries like India. The problem is particularly acute in settings with widespread informality and casual labor arrangements, along with inadequate private savings to withstand a crisis. Lives compromised by the rigors of lockdown would then need to be weighed against lives rescued from Covid-19 infection, with the further complication of reckoning whose lives - either lost or saved - would be involved in the tradeoff. This leads to what might be termed a “lives versus lives” perspective on the problem. That perspective, while still favoring a lockdown - provided compensatory relief measures are fully implemented - leads to the prescription of a relaxed lockdown when those measures are inadequate. Such a prescription is strengthened when the vast majority of the population is under the age of 60. In the relaxed lockdown, the working-age population is allowed to work, while affording protection to the elderly and pursuing a relentless campaign of testing, tracing and quarantining. This approach to the problem is discussed in the present chapter.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationThe Covid-19 Pandemic, India and the World
    Subtitle of host publicationEconomic and Social Policy Perspectives
    PublisherTaylor and Francis
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Electronic)9781000463040
    ISBN (Print)9780367688868
    StatePublished - Jan 1 2021

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Economics, Econometrics and Finance
    • General Business, Management and Accounting
    • General Social Sciences


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