When to lock, not whom: Managing epidemics using time-based restrictions

Yinon Bar-On, Tatiana Baron, Ofer Cornfeld, Eran Yashiv*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We present novel policy tools to manage epidemics. Rather than using prevalent population restrictions, these policy strategies are based on cyclical time restrictions. Key findings on the outcomes of such policy strategies include: a significant improvement of social welfare, substantially lessening the trade-offs between economic activity and health outcomes; optimally-derived timings of interventions are shown to suppress the disease, while maintaining reasonable economic activity; and outcomes are superior to the actual experience of New York State and Florida over the course of 2020.

Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of Economic Dynamics
StateAccepted/In press - 2023


  • Cyclical strategies
  • Endogenous individual response
  • Epidemic/pandemic management
  • Lockdown
  • Policy frontier
  • Social planner


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