Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

Lives versus Livelihoods: Evaluating policies to address COVID-19

27 October 2020, 5:00 pm6:30 pm

This event will take place online via Zoom, it is free and open to the public. Please register here.  

The COVID-19 pandemic appears to force governments to make difficult trade-offs, including between limiting its direct health impacts and maintaining economic activity. Welfare economics offers tools to conceptualize this trade-off: value of statistical life (VSL), value of statistical life years (VSLYs), quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs), and social welfare analysis.

In this webinar, panellists will discuss the value of these tools for assessing policies that impact health and wealth. Panellists will also discuss the usefulness and limitations of formal modelling, the impacts of policies that intend to suppress the virus, and those that instead attempt more lenient control of the spread. Finally, panellists will examine how feasible policies and associated trade-offs depend on country circumstances: how should the policy response in India or Lebanon differ from the policy response in France or the UK?


  • Dr Joelle M. Abi-Rached, medical historian and a medical doctor.
  • Prof Matthew Adler, Richard A. Horvitz Professor of Law and Professor of Economics, Philosophy and Public Policy at Duke University and Lachmann Research Fellow at LSE.
  • Prof Richard Bradley, Professor of Philosophy at LSE.
  • Dr Maddalena Ferranna, Research Associate at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.
  • Prof Marc Fleurbaey, Professor at the Paris School of Economics.
  • Prof James Hammitt, Professor of Economics and Decision Sciences in the Departments of Health Policy and Management and of Environmental Health, and Director of the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis.
  • Prof Sreenivasan Subramanian, independent researcher and a retired professor from the Madras Institute of Development Studies (MIDS), and a former Indian Council of Social Science Research National Fellow


  • Prof Alex Voorhoeve, Professor of Philosophy at LSE and part-time Visiting Professor of Ethics and Economics at Erasmus University Rotterdam.

This event is co-hosted by the Global Health Initiative and the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method.

If you have any adjustment requirements, please contact globalhealth@lse.ac.uk as soon as possible so that arrangements, where possible, may be arranged. 



Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method and Global Health Initiative


Online via Zoom