Thoughts on economics and liberty

A self-declared list of totalitarian morons masquerading as economists in Australia

Thankfully, this letter has been archived at: https://web.archive.org/web/20220112134137/http://covid19openletter.net/ and at https://archive.ph/ZAPsT but these are powerful people and can easily get it wiped out from the internet. So I’m retaining a copy on my server (I’ve copied the original HTML).

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An Open Letter by Australian Economists on Tradeoffs During the COVID-19 Crisis

Corresponding authors:

Chris Edmond (cedmond@unimelb.edu.au)
Steven Hamilton (steven_hamilton@gwu.edu)
Richard Holden (richard.holden@unsw.edu.au)
Bruce Preston (bruce.preston@unimelb.edu.au)

The views expressed are those of the signatories and not necessarily those of their employer.

19 April 2020

Dear Prime Minister and Members of the National Cabinet:

The undersigned economists have witnessed and participated in the public debate about when to relax social-distancing measures in Australia. Some commentators have expressed the view that there is a trade-off between the public health and economic aspects of the crisis. We, as economists, believe this is a false distinction.

We cannot have a functioning economy unless we first comprehensively address the public health crisis. The measures put in place in Australia, at the border and within the states and territories, have reduced the number of new infections. This has put Australia in an enviable position compared to other countries, and we must not squander that success.

We recognise that the measures taken to date have come at a cost to economic activity and jobs, but believe these are far outweighed by the lives saved and the avoided economic damage due to an unmitigated contagion. We believe that strong fiscal measures are a much better way to offset these economic costs than prematurely loosening restrictions.

As has been foreshadowed in your public remarks, our borders will need to remain under tight control for an extended period. It is vital to keep social-distancing measures in place until the number of infections is very low, our testing capacity is expanded well beyond its already comparatively high level, and widespread contact tracing is available.

A second-wave outbreak would be extremely damaging to the economy, in addition to involving tragic and unnecessary loss of life.

Sincerely,

Alison Booth—Professor of Economics, Australian National University
Jeff Borland—Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne
Lisa Cameron—Professorial Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne
Efrem Castelnuovo—Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne
Deborah Cobb-Clark—Professor of Economics, The University of Sydney
Ashley Craig—Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Michigan
Chris Edmond—Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne
Nisvan Erkal—Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne
John Freebairn—Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne
Renée Fry-McKibbin—Professor of Economics, Australian National University
Joshua Gans—Professor of Strategic Management, University of Toronto
Jacob Goeree—Scientia Professor and Professor of Economics, UNSW Business School
Quentin Grafton—Professor of Economics, Australian National University
Simon Grant —Professor of Economics, Australian National University
Pauline Grosjean—Professor of Economics, UNSW Business School
Jane Hall—Distinguished Professor of Health Economics, University of Technology Sydney
Steven Hamilton—Assistant Professor of Economics, The George Washington University
Ian Harper—Dean and Director, Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne
Richard Holden—Professor of Economics, UNSW Business School
David Johnston—Professor, Centre for Health Economics, Monash University
Flavio Menezes—Professor of Economics, The University of Queensland
Warwick McKibbin—Professor of Economics, Australian National University
Simon Mongey—Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Chicago
James Morley—Professor of Economics, The University of Sydney
Joseph Mullins—Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Minnesota
Abigail Payne— Professor and Director, Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne
Bruce Preston—Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne
Sue Richardson—Emeritus Professor of Economics, Flinders University
Stefanie Schurer—Professor of Economics, The University of Sydney
Kalvinder Shields—Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne
John Quiggin—Professor of Economics, The University of Queensland
Simon Quinn—Associate Professor of Economics, University of Oxford
James Vickery—Senior Economic Advisor and Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
Tom Wilkening—Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne
Justin Wolfers —Professor of Economics and Professor of Public Policy, University of Michigan
Yves Zenou—Professor of Economics, Monash University


Alfredo Paloyo—Senior Lecturer, University of Wollongong
Pei Cheng Yu—Lecturer, University of New South Wales
Isa Hafalir—Professor of Economics, University of Technology Sydney
Emil Temnyalov—Senior Lecturer, University of Technology Sydney
Hongyi Li—Senior Lecturer, UNSW Business School
Christopher Gibbs—Senior Lecturer, The University of Sydney
Gordon Menzies—Associate Professor of Economics, University of Technology Sydney
Viet Nguyen—Senior Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne
Aarti Singh—Associate Professor of Economics, The University of Sydney
Silvia Mendolia—Senior Lecturer, University of Wollongong
Andrew John—Associate Professor of Economics, Melbourne Business School, University of Melbourne
Akshay Shanker—Research Fellow, UNSW Business School
Yusuf Mercan—Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Mei Dong—Associate Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne
Tim Robinson—Senior Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne
Ross Hickey—Senior Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne
Onur Kesten—Professor of Economics, The University of Sydney
Mengheng Li—Lecturer, University of Technology Sydney
Peter Siminski—Professor of Economics, University of Technology Sydney
Guay Lim—Professorial Fellow, Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne
Ian McDonald—Emeritus Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne
David P. Byrne—Associate Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne
Arpita Chatterjee —Senior Lecturer, UNSW Business School
Tomasz Wozniak—Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Mehmet Ozmen—Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Michael Coelli—Associate Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne
Trung Duc Tran—Research Fellow, The University of Sydney
Siqi Pan—Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Joshua B. Miller—Associate Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne
Xueyuan Wu—Associate Professor of Actuarial Studies, University of Melbourne
Leslie Martin—Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Trung Duc Tran—Research Fellow, The University of Sydney
Sandy Suardi—Professor of Economics, University of Wollongong
Yong Song—Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Olena Stavrunova—Associate Professor of Economics, University of Technology Sydney
Robert Dixon—Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne
Tom Kompas—Professor of Environmental Economics and Biosecurity, University of Melbourne
Alexandru Nichifor—Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Kevin Fox—Professor of Economics, UNSW Business School
Peter Lloyd—Professor Emeritus of Economics, University of Melbourne
Andrew Clarke—Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Hayley Fisher—Senior Lecturer, The University of Sydney
Garry Barrett—Professor of Economics, The University of Sydney
Alberto Motta—Associate Professor of Economics, UNSW Business School
Oleg Yerokhin—Senior Lecturer, University of Wollongong
Anton Kolotilin—Associate Professor of Economics, UNSW Business School
Kristle Romero Cortés—Senior Lecturer, UNSW Business School
John Romalis—Sir Hermann Black Chair of Economics, The University of Sydney
Keiichi Kawai—Senior Lecturer, UNSW Business School
May Li—Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne
John Tang—Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Victoria Baranov—Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Shuping Shi—Professor of Economics, Macquarie University
Mariano Kulish—Professor of Economics, The University of Sydney
Frank Neri—Senior Lecturer, University of Wollongong
Lionel Page—Professor of Economics, University of Technology Sydney
Lawrence Uren—Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Alastair Fraser—Lecturer, The University of Sydney
Gautam Bose—Associate Professor of Economics, UNSW Business School
Darla Hatton MacDonald—Associate Professor of Economics, University of Tasmania
Jorge Miranda-Pinto—Lecturer, The University of Queensland
Pedro Gomis-Porqueras—Professor of Economics, Deakin University
Sephorah Mangin—Senior Lecturer, Australian National University
Begoña Dominguez—Associate Professor of Economics, The University of Queensland
Isabella Dbrescu—Associate Professor of Economics, UNSW Business School
Faisal Sohail—Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Nicolas de Roos—Associate Professor of Economics, The University of Sydney
Andrew Wait—Associate Professor of Economics, The University of Sydney
Shuanming Li—Professor of Actuarial Studies, University of Melbourne
Kevin Staub—Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Ivan Balbuzanov—Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Nahid Khan—Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Francesco Carli—Senior Lecturer, Deakin University
Giovanni Caggiano—Associate Professor, Monash University
Wenying Yao—Senior Lecturer, Deakin University
Sam Tsiaplias—Senior Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute, The University of Melbourne
Laura Puzzello—Senior Lecturer, Monash University
Ayushi Bajaj—Lecturer, Monash University
Benjamin Wong—Senior Lecturer, Monash University
Marco Faravelli—Associate Professor of Economics, The University of Queensland
Denni Tommasi—Lecturer, Monash University
Bin Peng—Senior Lecturer, Deakin University
Reshad Ahsan—Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Heather Anderson—Professor of Economics and Econometrics, Monash University
Satoshi Tanaka—Senior Lecturer, University of Queensland
Dan Zhu—Senior Lecturer, Monash University
Farshid Vahid-Araghi—Professor of Econometrics, Monash University
Richard J Smith—Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne
Jiti Gao—Donald Cochrane Chair of Business and Economics and Professor of Econometrics, Monash University
Qingyuan Du—Senior Lecturer, Monash University
Laura Panza—Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Tim Moore—Associate Professor of Economics, Purdue University
Peter Sivey—Associate Professor of Economics, RMIT University
Federico Masera—Lecturer, UNSW Business School
Elif Incekara Hafalir—Lecturer, University of Technology Sydney
Maria Recalde—Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Lata Gangadharan—Professor of Economics, Monash University
Fabrizio Carmignani—Professor of Economics, Griffith University
Eik Swee—Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Jiao Wang—Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne
Leo Simon—Professor of Economics, Monash University
Sarah Walker—Senior Lecturer, UNSW Business School
Robin Stonecash—Dean, School of Business and Tourism, Southern Cross University
Ryan Edwards—Fellow and Deputy Director, Australian National University
Leonora Risse—Lecturer, RMIT University
Timothy Kam—Associate Professor of Economics, Australian National University
Jonathan Thong—Sessional Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Terence Cheng—Senior Lecturer, The University of Adelaide
Wylie Bradford—Associate Professor of Economics, Macquarie University
David Ubilava—Senior Lecturer, The University of Sydney
Chung Tran—Associate Professor of Economics, Australian National University
Andres Bellofatto—Lecturer, The University of Queensland
Solmaz Moslehi—Senior Lecturer, Monash University
Chengsi Wang—Senior Lecturer , Monash University
Jenny Lye—Associate Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne
Carsten Murawski—Professor of Finance, University of Melbourne
Juan Carlos Carbajal—Associate Professor of Economics, UNSW Business School
Rhonda Smith—Senior Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Joe Hirschberg—Associate Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne
Rebecca Taylor—Lecturer, The University of Sydney
Stella Huangfu—Senior Lecturer, The University of Sydney
Jim Stanford—Economist and Director, Centre for Future Work
Satoshi Yamazaki—Senior Lecturer, University of Tasmania
Isaac Gross—Lecturer, Monash University
Mike Berry —Emeritus Professor, RMIT University
Asad Islam—Professor of Economics, Monash University
Hasin Yousaf—Lecturer, UNSW Business School
Kenan Kalaycı—Senior Lecturer, The University of Queensland
Adam Loch—Senior Lecturer, The University of Adelaide
Wang-Sheng Lee—Associate Professor of Economics, Deakin University
Agnieszka Tymula—Professor of Economics, The University of Sydney
Rodney Strachan—Professor of Econometrics, The University of Queensland
Alison Pennington—Senior Economist, Centre for Future Work
Julian Alston—Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California, Davis
Brian Parker—Chief Economist, Sunsuper
Jing Tian—Senior Lecturer, University of Tasmania
Natalia Bailey—Senior Lecturer, Monash University
Hoa Nguyen—Senior Lecturer, Australian National University
Margaret McKenzie—Economist, Australian Council of Trade Unions
Warren Hogan—Industry Professor, University of Technology Sydney
Anthony Scott—Professor, Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne
Shirley Jackson—Economist, Per Capita
John de New—Professorial Fellow, Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne
Steven Williams—Professor of Economics, University of Melbourne
Alicia Rambaldi—Professor of Economics, The University of Queensland
Yuting Zhang—Professor of Health Economics , University of Melbourne
Nobu Yamashita—Senior Lecturer, RMIT University
Jongsay Yong—Principal Fellow, University of Melbourne
Tim Coelli—Adjunct Professor of Economics, The University of Queensland
Jan Kabatek—Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne
Susan Mendez—Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne
Guyonne Kalb—Professorial Fellow, University of Melbourne
Sisira Jayasuriya—Professor of Economics, Monash University
Chris O’Donnell—Professor of Econometrics, The University of Queensland
Ping Chen—Senior Lecturer of Actuarial Studies, University of Melbourne
Toan Nguyen—Research Associate, Curtin University
Pramod (Raja) Junankar—Adjunct Professor, UNSW Canberra
Joanne Flavel—Senior Research Officer, Flinders University
John Roberts—Scientia Professor, UNSW Business School
Jayatilleke Bandaralage—Professor of Economics, Griffith University
Premachnadra Athukorala—Professor of Economics, Australian National University
Sascha Becker—Professor of Economics, Monash University
Andrew McLennan—Professor of Economics, The University of Queensland
Budy Resosudarmo—Professor of Economics, Australian National University
Renaud Coulomb—Lecturer, University of Melbourne
Nathaniel Lane—Senior Lecturer, Monash University and SoDa Labs
Paul Raschky—Associate Professor of Economics, Monash University
Ummul Ruthbah—Senior Research Fellow, Monash University
Nicole Black—Associate Professor, Centre for Health Economics, Monash University
Martine Mariotti—Senior Lecturer, Australian National University
Phil Bodman—Professor of Economics & Deputy Executive Dean, The University of Queensland
Valentin Zelenyuk —Associate Professor of Economics, The University of Queensland
Maria Estela Varua—Associate Professor of Economics, Western Sydney University
Steven Bond-Smith—Research Fellow, Curtin University
Martin Hensher—Associate Professor of Health Systems Financing and Organisation, Deakin University
Sonja de New—Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Health Economics, Monash University
Mehmet Ulubasoglu—Professor of Economics, Deakin University
Arghya Ghosh—Professor of Economics, UNSW Business School
Pasquale Sgro—Professor of Economics, Deakin University
Stephen Kirchner—Program Director, United States Studies Centre, University of Sydney
Prasad Bhattacharya—Senior Lecturer, Deakin University
Michael Shields—Professor of Economics, Monash University
Ian McEwin—Visiting Professor of Law, Australian National University
Carlos Pimienta—Associate Professor of Economics, UNSW Business School
Shashi Karunanethy—Director (Economics), Geografia
Cahit Guven—Senior Lecturer, Deakin University
Rosalie Viney—Professor of Health Economics, University of Technology Sydney
Emilia Tjernström—Lecturer, The University of Sydney
Todd Morris—Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Social Law and Social Policy
Peter Exterkate—Lecturer, The University of Sydney
Tom Miller—Chief Executive Officer, Cambridge Energy Partners
David Cousins—Principal, PI Research Pty. Ltd.
Harry Bloch—Emeritus Professor of Economics, Curtin University
Rosanna Scutella—Senior Research Fellow, RMIT University
Samuel Zhang—Research Fellow, Deakin University
Andrew Partington—Research Fellow, Flinders University & Macquarie University
Alberto Posso—Professor of Economics, RMIT University
Russell Thomson—Associate Professor of Economics, Swinburne University of Technology
Luca Colombo—Associate Professor of Economics, Deakin University
Paola Labrecciosa—Associate Professor of Economics, Monash University
Tapen Sinha—AXA Chair Professor of Risk Management, ITAM, Mexico
Kelly Trinh—Lecturer, James Cook University
Aaron Blanco—Doctor of Economics, University of Melbourne
Caitlin Brown—Assistant Professor of Economics, Central European University
Scott French—Lecturer, UNSW Business School
David Delacretaz—Postdoctoral Research Fellow, University of Oxford
Nicolas Salamanca—Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne
Maryam Naghsh Nejad—Senior Research Fellow, University of Technology Sydney
Simon Foster—Professor of International Commerce, University of Oxford
Boon Han Koh—Lecturer in Economics, University of East Anglia
Anne Junor—Hon Associate Professor, UNSW Business School
Dominic Meagher—Executive Director, Australasia Strategy Group
Tracey-Lea Laba—Associate Professor, Centre for Health Economics Research and Evaluation, University of Technology Sydney
Michael Woods—Professor of Health Economics, University of Technology Sydney
Paul Kofman—Professor of Finance, University of Melbourne
Anke Leroux—Senior Lecturer, Monash University
Sang-Wook (Stanley) Cho—Senior Lecturer, UNSW Business School
Marian Vidal-Fernandez—Associate Professor of Economics, The University of Sydney
Brendan Mulhern—Senior Research Fellow in Health Economics, University of Technology Sydney
Bao Nguyen—Lecturer, University of Tasmania
Omid Mousavi—Economist, Department of Treasury and Finance Victoria
Clement Wong—Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Melbourne Institute, University of Melbourne
Michelle Baddeley—Professor of Economics and Associate Dean Research, University of Technology Sydney
Jerry Courvisanos—Associate Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Federation University Australia
Yunho Cho—Assistant Professor, Jinan Univeristy
Stephanie McWhinnie—Senior Lecturer, University of Adelaide
Nathan Kettlewell—Research Fellow, University of Technology Sydney
Benoit Julien—Associate Professor of Economics, UNSW Business School
Joanna Poyago-Theotoky—Professor of Economics, La Trobe University
Jason Zein—Associate Professor of Finance, UNSW Business School
Neil Hart—Research Fellow, UNSW Business School
Angeline Panayi-Motus—Senior Economics Teacher, Seymour College, Adelaide SA
Nerina Vecchio—Senior Lecturer, Griffith University
Abbas Valadkhani—Professor of Economics, Swinburne University of Technology
Kadir Atalay—Associate Professor of Economics, The University of Sydney
Anastasia Burkovskaya—Lecturer, The University of Sydney
MaroÅ¡ Servátka—Professor of Economics, Macquarie Business School
Ian King—Professor of Economics, The University of Queensland
Haishan Yuan—Lecturer, The University of Queensland
Phong Ngo—Senior Lecturer, Australian National University
Jingjing Zhang—Associate Professor of Economics, University of Technology Sydney
Le Zhang—Senior Lecturer, Macquarie University
Eugene Lim—Advisor, Planum Partners
Vai-Lam Mui—Associate Professor of Economics, Monash University
Lisa Gold—Associate Professor of Health Economics, Deakin University
Nikki McCaffrey—Senior Research Fellow, Deakin University
Liam Wagner—Lecturer, Griffith University
Cameron Gordon—Associate Professor of Economics, Australian National University
Caroline Riot—Senior Lecturer, Griffith University
Anthony Harris—Professor of Economics, Monash University
Sarah Dahmann—Research Fellow, The University of Sydney
Jo-Ann Suchard—Associate Professor of Finance, UNSW Business School
Clinton Watkins—Professor and Director, Global Business, Akita International University, Japan

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Sanjeev Sabhlok

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