Questions and answers about
the UK economy.

The implicit health-money trade-off in Covid-19 pandemic

The strategies to manage Covid-19 pandemic involve a challenging trade-off for policy-makers. On one hand, the closure of all non-essential economic activities (lockdown) helps to reduce the diffusion of the epidemic. On the other hand, lockdown comes at some important economic costs. These issues are likely to be even more relevant in the design of “Phase two” – that is what comes after the end of the lockdown – when the governments have to plan the gradual return to normal economic activities while preserving the health of the population. In this project, we aim to elicit individual preferences on health vs economic concerns and to understand how they are affected by the communication strategy on this trade-off. In fact, health and economic issues may be addressed in terms of either safeguard or costs. We compare the two framings to investigate if a positive framing (safeguard) induces more conservative preferences, especially for health. The self-reported indicator of individual preferences on health vs economic concerns is combined with the elicitation of stated preferences on several hypothetical scenarios designed in terms of a trade-off between the R0 (basic reproductive ratio) of the Covid-19 and GDP losses. Information on individual characteristics (socio-economic background) will allow us to investigate whether there is heterogeneity in treatment effects along several dimensions.

Lead investigator:

Vincenzo Carrieri


Magna Graecia University

Primary topic:

Attitudes, media & governance

Region of data collection:


Country of data collection


Status of data collection

In Progress

Type of data being collected:

Online survey

Unit of real-time data collection