Danish government to consult group of economic experts

The Danish Ministry of Finance appoints fast-working expert group to advise the government on the economic consequences of reopening Danish society. The group consists of professors of economics Torben M. Andersen, Michael Svarer and Philipp Schröder from Aarhus BSS.

[Translate to English:] Torben M. Andersen leder ekspertgruppen, som skal give regeringen økonomiske råd om Danmarks genåbning.

The coronavirus has brought on the most challenging crisis for society since the Second World War and will have grave economic consequences for citizens as well as business and industry. When Denmark starts its gradual reopening of society, the government and the Danish Parliament will consult some of the country’s most prominent economic experts to ensure that the reopening takes the economy as well as public health into consideration.

“The experts must consider and assess each of the current initiatives to combat the coronavirus from a socio-economic perspective seen in relation to their impact on public health,” it is stated in the terms of reference for the economic expert assessment of the reopening (Kommissorium for økonomisk ekspertvurdering af genåbning).

The expert group has been appointed by the Ministry of Finance and consists of Torben M. Andersen (chair), Michael Svarer and Philipp Schröder - all professors of economics at Aarhus BSS at Aarhus University. The group is to deliver their report to the government on 6 May. The report will form the basis of the negotiations between the government and the parties in Parliament on the next phase of the reopening of Danish society.

“Reopening initiatives that involve a low risk of infection and significant socio-economic benefits should be first in line when the politicians have to prioritise,” argue Torben M. Andersen and Michael Svarer in an article at Finans.dk on the lessons Denmark can learn from Norway in terms of reopening society.

Norway was quick to establish an expert group to conduct socio-economic assessments as a basis for political decision-making. Danish political parties and economists have been advocating for the establishment of a similar kind of group in Denmark.

Denmark is one of the first countries in the world to kick off a gradual reopening of society. Thus, there is no much experience to draw on from other countries, which means that the government will rely on the recommendations of the expert group.

“It is important to provide the government and the Danish Parliament with the best possible basis for making decisions on the second phase of the reopening and the preliminary plan for the further reopening. And to give the public an insight into this,” it says in the terms of reference for the economic expert assessment of the reopening (Kommissorium for økonomisk ekspertvurdering af genåbning).