6 November, 2020 - Designing Optimal Reopening Policies during the COVID-19 Pandemic, Dr. Abhishek Nagaraj, Assistant Professor, Management of Organizations, Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley.

`Designing Optimal Reopening Policies during the COVID-19 Pandemic


Thursday, November 6, 9:30PM-10:30PM (New Delhi)


Speaker: Dr. Abhishek Nagaraj

Assistant Professor, Management of Organizations

Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley


Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has required policymakers to introduce lockdown measures in the interest of public health while limiting the extent of unemployment. This tradeoff, and therefore the effects of different lockdown policies are likely very heterogeneous across regions depending on the local structure of physical interaction, age and industry composition and pre-existing health conditions. In this paper, we examine commonly proposed lockdown and reopening policies in major metropolitan areas in the United States. We leverage a variety of data sources, including data on individuals’ mobility and encounters derived from high-resolution cellphone data and electronic health records. We find that the effectiveness of different policy scenarios varies greatly between locations and the timing of the policy. In general, our results suggest two types of policies do well to balance health and unemployment concerns: (a) policies that reopen the economy while requiring individuals who can work from home to do so, and (b) policies in which schools and firms alternate schedules across different groups of students and employees. However, the extent of the benefits of reducing contacts are significantly larger in cities like Chicago than cities like Sacramento.


About the Speaker: Abhishek Nagaraj is an Assistant Professor in the Management and Organizations (MORS) group at Berkeley Haas. He earned his PhD in Management at the MIT Sloan School of Management, in the Technological Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Strategic Management (TIES) group. He also holds an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta and a B.Tech in Computer Science from the College of Engineering, Pune (COEP).


Nagaraj’s research is in the area of innovation management and entrepreneurship, where he studies the role of intellectual property in digital markets, the impact of government information on the private-sector, and the design of crowdsourcing communities. He is particularly interested in the impact of maps and digital, geographic information on the economy.


His work has received a number of awards including the BPS Wiley Blackwell Outstanding Dissertation Award, the Technology and Innovation Management (TIM) Best Dissertation Award, the J. Roberts Beyster Fellowship, as well as the Kauffman Dissertation Fellowship. In addition to his teaching, Nagaraj teaches Entrepreneurial Strategy and enjoys advising early-stage startups.

Moderator: Dr. Chitresh Kumar, Associate Professor, JGBS