The Race to Fight COVID-19: On the Desirability of Regulatory Competition

Entry in Oxford Business Law Blog.


Jurisdictions worldwide struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic. The two key policy goals are, first, to contain the spread of the virus to protect lives and, second, to minimize the damage to the economy to protect livelihoods. These policy goals are in potential conflict: drastic measures to contain the pandemic, such as a lockdown of private and commercial activities, will inflict huge costs on the economy. At the same time, it is also clear that reducing the spread of the virus does not only save lives. It has economic benefits as well by, for example, reducing healthcare costs and maintaining the size and health of the workforce and consumption levels.