Has COVID-19 put proponents of free markets on the back foot?
The virus crisis has led to huge government intervention around the world, particularly in terms of lock-downs and social distancing rules. Is this crisis a negation of free market economics, as many Kiwi commentators are arguing? A key feature of COVID-19 is that it involves a potentially lethal 'externality' whereby one person can infect another without consequence to the former. A well-known externality much studied in economics is pollution whereby firms may hurt the envi