Professor Forman

A Rational Approach toward Reopening
the Economy

A rational approach to ‘reopening’ -which will play out over and over again as time progresses consists of the following three steps:

Step 1) undefined
Identify alternative strategies. 
For example, opening up MLB:
a) No fans, only broadcasting
b) Limited number of fans;
c) … increments until full attendance

IF YOU DARE TO SKIP THIS STEP THEN:There is no chance of selecting the best option if you haven’t identified it. Collaborative brainstorming is effective in identifying potentially optimal strategies.

See Step 1 Details

STEP 2) Risks We Face
Evaluate the risks of each of these alternative strategies including the likelihood and impact of each of the risks

IF YOU DARE TO SKIP THIS STEP THEN:A scientific, comprehensive process for estimating the risks of each alternative strategy will provide a synthesis of data and human judgment that cannot be accomplished by a committee “sitting around and talking”.

See: Step 2 Details

STEP 3) Risks We Take
Choose the best alternative strategy based on trade-offs among competing objectives .  An objectives hierarchy, with the top level consisting of Health&Welfare and the Economy should be evaluated by various constituencies to prioritize the objectives that will determine the ‘best’ choice. 

IF YOU DARE TO SKIP THIS STEP THEN: You will be making a sub-optimal decision. The best choice depends not only on data but on judgments about the relative importance of objectives, such as health vs. economic benefit. But it isn’t a simple choice of health vs. economic benefit. Rather it is a synthesis of the values of the many constituencies involved. This can and must be included in the process of choosing the best strategy.

See: Step 3 Details


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