ISER Publication - The Impacts of the “Hunker Down” order in Anchorage
This brief models the COVID-19 epidemic in Anchorage Alaska to better understand the impact of the Municipality of Anchorage (MOA) “Hunker Down” order and provide insight into the potential benefit of the State of Alaska (SOA) “Stay at Home” order. The economic benefits of the hunker down order are measured in avoided mortality, based on the EPA value of a statistical life of $7.5 million. The benefits are for the epidemic to date based on confirmed cases and a simulation of an Anchorage epidemic based on epidemiological parameters from the scientific literature. Modeling suggests ~5400 deaths were avoided to date. Using a value of a statistical life of $7.5 million, the hunker down order is estimated to have avoided $40.5 billion in mortality due to COVID-19 to date. The economic costs of the shutdown are estimated based on the expected loss of GDP in Alaska, at roughly $4 billion to date. The long run economic costs are not estimated in this report, and will be heavily influenced by efforts by individuals to avoid infection. The estimates of the economic cost are also an upper bound estimate, as many of the costs may have happened regardless of the hunker down order as individuals avoided public spaces to protect themselves.