Policy and the 80:20 principle

11 MAY,2020 | MEDC


The 80:20 rule states that 80% (or, the clear majority) of outcomes result from 20% (or, the clear minority) of causes. This could be applied to tackling the Covid menace by focusing on just a few policy actions likely to have the maximum impact. For example, Covid infections tend to be largely urban and concentrated in congested areas and slums.  Thus, slum redevelopment and affordable housing should be given top policy priority. Despite the growing chorus for unveiling massive relief packages, it makes sense for the government to go slow, so that it clearly identifies the prevailing bottlenecks, and where the money spent will deliver the maximum bang for the buck. From this perspective, barring occasional lapses, Indian policymakers have largely done the right things to contain the spread of Covid. We face a strange disorder, which needs innovative and lopsided strategies to resolve.

*Photo Credit: Google

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