Economists Watching Vaccines Every Day

EWVED could be our new name. Americans worked so hard to develop a vaccine (here’s Jeremy’s ode to development) and now we are seeing the distribution become painfully slow.

Jeremy proposed an auction mechanism that would take both prioritization and positive externalities into account. That might have seemed wild back on Dec 16th, but look at what we are getting through central planning alone? Vaccines aren’t getting out to humans fast enough.

We don’t currently know for sure what the price of a vaccine would be if they were up on the free market. Bryan Caplan did run this poll two days ago:

It’s not representative, but over 1,000 Twitter dwellers would pay more than $500 if they could get the vaccine today.

I’ll take my turn at envisioning a marginal improvement. Each state could put up 100 vaccines for sale at $1,500 a piece. They would sell out immediately and each state would raise $150,000 for vaccine infrastructure that supports getting vaccines to the prioritized people faster.

It’s not likely to happen, but sometimes life starts imitating blogs.

EWED is about to flip a calendar year. Happy New Year’s Eve to all. See you in 2021. I look forward to a holiday season in 2021 that is more joyous and allows more families to get together.

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