New Research on COVID-19

New Mercatus research from April 27-May 1

Coming Back from COVID-19: Lessons in Entrepreneurship from Disaster Recovery Research

Stefanie Haeffele, Anne Hobson, and Virgil Storr | Policy Brief

The COVID-19 pandemic is an ongoing crisis that has had immense social, and psychological effects. The discussion thus far on how to remedy the harmful impacts have consisted of short-term economic bandages from the government. These policy prescriptions fail to appreciate the potential of businesses, entrepreneurs and nonprofits to help communities withstand and overcome crises. Extensive Mercatus research on community response and recovery after disasters has shown that commercial and social entrepreneurs are key drivers of disaster response and recovery. Responding to and recovering from this pandemic will require a similar approach spurred on by entrepreneurial ideas and solutions as well as a policy environment that encourages rather than stifles entrepreneurship. Read this proposal on how policymakers can give entrepreneurs space to act and find solutions amidst this crisis.

Raising the Bar: ICU Beds and Certificates of Need

Matthew D. Mitchell, Thomas Stratmann, and James Bailey | Policy Brief

The nation is on a mission to “flatten the curve.” The goal is not so much to reduce the total number of COVID-19 infections—though that would be ideal—but to reduce the number of infections at any one time, so as to ensure that the nation’s healthcare resources are not overwhelmed. While it has received less attention, a secondary goal should be to “raise the bar” by increasing the nation’s capacity to handle those cases that do arise. 

Using regulations surrounding intensive care unit (ICU) bed shortage projections as a case study, Senior Research Fellows Matthew D. Mitchell and Thomas Stratmann and Senior Affiliated Scholar James Bailey propose that certificate-of-need (CON) laws may contribute to diminished healthcare capacity, and their elimination can help raise the bar so that the nation is ready for the next healthcare crisis.