Calculating private and social returns to COVID-19 vaccine innovation
Economic Research Working Paper No. 68
Author: Carsten Fink
Publication year: 2022
What is the return to COVID-19 vaccine innovation? This paper seeks to quantify both private and social returns, using available data on commercialized vaccines and certain assumptions about the pandemic’s epidemiological path as well as the economic costs of containment measures. The calculations reveal high returns to innovation. In the baseline scenario, the social benefit of vaccine innovation amounts to 70.5 trillion United States (U.S.) dollars globally, exceeding its private benefit by a factor of 887. The calculations bear on the private and public incentives to invest in vaccine innovation.