The Pandemic Information Gap: The Brutal Economics of COVID-19

The Pandemic Information Gap: The Brutal Economics of COVID-19

by Joshua Gans


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Why solving the information problem should be at the core of our pandemic response: essential reading about the long-term implications of our current crisis.

COVID-19 is caused by a virus. The COVID-19 pandemic is caused by a lack of good information. A pandemic is essentially an information problem: this is the enlightening and provocative idea at the heart of this book. If we solve the information problem, argues economist Joshua Gans, we can defeat the virus. For example, when we don't know who is infected, we have to act as if everyone is infected. If we actively manage the information problem—if we know who is infected and with whom they had contact—we can suppress the virus or buy time for vaccine development.

This is an expanded version of an eBook originally published as Economics in the Age of COVID-19.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780262539128
Publisher: MIT Press
Publication date: 11/10/2020
Series: Design Thinking, Design Theory
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 6.13(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Joshua Gans is Professor of Strategic Management and holds the Jeffrey S. Skoll Chair of Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management. He is the author of The Disruption Dilemma (MIT Press), Prediction Machines, and other books, and coauthor of Innovation + Equality (MIT Press).

Table of Contents

Preface ix

1 All about Information 1

2 Health before Wealth 13

3 Predictable Surprises 29

4 Telling the Truth 45

5 A War Footing 57

6 This Time It Really Is Different 71

7 The Testing Economy 87

8 Keeping It to Yourself 105

9 Reemergence 115

10 Rallying Innovation 125

11 The Big Rationing 143

12 The Future 151

Notes 163

About the Author 199

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