New book says by engaging in rapid frequent screening we can control the pandemic
The pandemic information solution
Credit: Joshua Gans
February 8, 2021
New Book Says by Engaging in Rapid Frequent Screening We Can Control the Pandemic. The Pandemic Information Solution.
Toronto – Covid-19 is a global pandemic inflicting large health and economic costs. In his previous book, The Pandemic Information Gap: The Brutal Economics of COVID-19 (The MIT Press, 2020), economist Joshua Gans explains that those costs have been so large because governments and others have lacked the information needed to control the pandemic. Unless we know who is infectious, we can’t break the chains of transmission, which results in the escalation of our problems. Pandemics, he writes, are information problems.
Now, in a follow-up book, The Pandemic Information Solution (Endeavor Literary Press, 2021), Gans, a professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, outlines the solution to the information gap. By engaging in rapid, frequent screening, we can control the pandemic and restore normality. We can lower the number of cases, break chains of transmission, and make it safe for people to interact again. This will require changing our mindset about testing, gathering the right information, and matching that information to the right decisions. We have the ingredients to do all these things. We just need to put them together in a scalable and sustainable system. This book is a guide to the issues and trade-offs that policymakers and other key decision-makers need to grapple with and follow.
The ideas in the book provide the foundation for the CDL Rapid Screening Consortium, an initiative based at the Rotman School’s Creative Destruction Lab to bring rapid antigen screens to workplaces at scale.
Joshua Gans is a professor of strategic management and the Jeffrey S. Skoll Chair of Technical Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Rotman School, where is he also the Chief Economist for the Creative Destruction Lab. He has a PhD from Stanford University and an honors degree in economics from the University of Queensland. In 2012, he was appointed as a research associate of the NBER in the Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship Program. At the Rotman School he teaches entrepreneurial strategy to MBA and Rotman Commerce students.
He recently published The Pandemic Information Gap: The Brutal Economics of COVID-19 (MIT Press, 2020). His other books include Principles of Economics (Cengage); Core Economics for Managers (Cengage); Finishing the Job (MUP); Parentonomics (MIT Press); Information Wants to be Shared (Harvard Business Review Press); The Disruption Dilemma (MIT Press); Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence (Harvard Business Review Press); Scholarly Publishing and its Discontents; and Innovation + Equality (MIT Press).
Further information on The Pandemic Information Solution is available online at http://www.
The Rotman School of Management is part of the University of Toronto, a global centre of research and teaching excellence at the heart of Canada’s commercial capital. Rotman is a catalyst for transformative learning, insights, and public engagement, bringing together diverse views and initiatives around a defining purpose: to create value for business and society. For more information, visit http://www.
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Manager, Media Relations
Rotman School of Management
University of Toronto
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