When Should We Restart the Economy? : Planet Money President Trump got major backlash this week when he suggested businesses should reopen by Easter. Critics said that was way too early. How do we know when it's safe for businesses to reopen?
NPR logo

When Should We Restart the Economy?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/822873592/848441239" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
When Should We Restart the Economy?

When Should We Restart the Economy?

When Should We Restart the Economy?

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/822873592/848441239" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images
A sign warning of the Covid-19 coronavirus is displayed in the corridors of Union Station as the US Capital train station is almost deserted by commuters during the 6pm usual rush hour in Washington on March 25, 2020.
ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images

What are the risks associated with coronavirus, really? The information we're getting about coronavirus seems to change every day... and the risk we're all facing seems to change with it. The result of the uncertainty is a flight to safety: conferences are being canceled, whole cities are being shut down, ships are being turned away from ports, universities are being shut down.

Are we overreacting? Should we be going even further? Or should we be backing off? President Trump has said he wants the economy back up and running by Easter. But is that too soon? It's all about risk assessment, and assessing risk is something economists like Allison Schrager spend a lot of time doing. She's the author of An Economist Walks Into a Brothel: And Other Unexpected Places to Understand Risk. We talk with her about assessing the risks in a situation where the information keeps changing.

Music by Drop Electric. Find us: Twitter / Facebook / Newsletter.

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, PocketCasts and NPR One.