Photo credit: Staatliche Schlösser und Gärten Baden-Württemberg

How Does the Expansion of Coronavirus Testing Affect the Rate of New Infections?

Economist Professor Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden from the University of Mannheim has developed a simple model to help estimate which health policies and measures are effective in what way to help fight the coronavirus.

Von Thadden’s model illustrates the complex interplay of incubation time, possible asymptomatic cases and undetected infections in a novel way. The economist examines, for instance, the delays in the effectiveness of measures such as large-scale testing on the rate of new infections, and how much time it takes for the number of cases to decrease. Modeling such parameters carefully is important seeing as Germany, along with most other countries, lacks reliable epidemiological data, and political decisions have to be made under enormous time pressure. The manuscript was published in late April in the new scientific journal Covid Economics.

Two other economists from Mannheim, Prof. Michèle Tertilt and Prof. Harald Fadinger, have also been published in Covid Economics, demonstrating that the University of Mannheim has become an important research location for economic research on the coronavirus as well.

Links to the publications:
Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, “A simple non-recursive model of the spread of Covid-19 with applications to policy”, Covid Economics 10, 24-43.

Michèle Tertilt, “The impact of Covid-19 on gender equality” (with T. Alon, M. Doepke, J. Olmstead-Rumsey), Covid Economics 4, 62-85.

Harald Fadinger, "The costs and benefits of home office during the Covid-19 pandemic: Evidence from infections and an input-output model for Germany" (with J. Schymik), Covid Economics 9, 107-134.