COVID-19 and Output in Japan

Author : Daisuke Fujii and Taisuke Nakata


We build a tractable SIR-macro model with time-varying parameters and use it to explore various policy questions such as when to lift the state of emergency (SOE). An earlier departure from the SOE results in smaller output loss and more deaths in the short-run. However, if the SOE is lifted too early, the number of new cases will surge and another SOE may need to be issued in the future, possibly resulting in both larger output loss and more deaths. That is, the tradeoff between output and infection that exists in the short-run does not necessarily exist in the long run. Our modelbased analysis—updated weekly since January 2021, frequently reported by media, and presented to policymakers on many occasions—has played a unique role in the policy response to the COVID-19 crisis in Japan.