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Cost of Protection for Youth Much Higher than Benefits

Summary:
We find that the benefits of protection are disproportionately higher for older people. Consider two extremes: the 18-year-old and the 85-year-old. If the 18-year-old dies, he loses 61.2 years of expected life. That’s a lot. But the probability of the 18-year-old dying, if infected, is tiny, about 0.004%. So the expected years of life lost are only 0.004% times 35% times 61.2 years, which is 0.0009 year. That’s only 7.5 hours. Everything this younger person has been through over the past year was to prevent, on average, the loss of 7.5 hours of his life. This is from Charles L. Hooper and David R. Henderson, “Youth Pay a High Price for Covid Protection,” Wall Street Journal, May 3 (May 4 print version.) The article is gated but in 30 days I will post the whole

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Cost of Protection for Youth Much Higher than Benefits

We find that the benefits of protection are disproportionately higher for older people. Consider two extremes: the 18-year-old and the 85-year-old. If the 18-year-old dies, he loses 61.2 years of expected life. That’s a lot. But the probability of the 18-year-old dying, if infected, is tiny, about 0.004%. So the expected years of life lost are only 0.004% times 35% times 61.2 years, which is 0.0009 year. That’s only 7.5 hours. Everything this younger person has been through over the past year was to prevent, on average, the loss of 7.5 hours of his life.

This is from Charles L. Hooper and David R. Henderson, “Youth Pay a High Price for Covid Protection,” Wall Street Journal, May 3 (May 4 print version.)

The article is gated but in 30 days I will post the whole thing.

David Henderson
David R. Henderson (born November 21, 1950) is a Canadian-born American economist and author who moved to the United States in 1972 and became a U.S. citizen in 1986, serving on President Ronald Reagan's Council of Economic Advisers from 1982 to 1984.[1] A research fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution[2] since 1990, he took a teaching position with the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California in 1984, and is now a full professor of economics.[3]

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