The Economic Perspective: “Testing Everyone”

Mary:    I’m Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at testing everyone.  Mike, many people and businesses are anxious to open up the economy.  But there are disagreements on how to do this. I understand there is a plan that’s been proposed by a very important economist.  Who is it, and what is the plan?


Mike: Summary Answer

  • Paul Romer, economist at NYU, and winner of a Nobel Prize in Econ.
  • Says testing is the key
  • Wants to ultimately test everyone every two weeks
  • Says would cost $100 billion annually
  • Yet estimates we are losing $500 billion for every month shutdown
  • Testing would allow those testing negative to go back to work -those positive would get treatment
  • Also would reduce fear of personal interacting, and would allow most schools and businesses to open
  • Big issue – lab capacity
  • Recommends using many university labs
  • I’m MW


Mary: And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.