You are required to submit an essay of 1,000 words by 2 November, 11.59 pm (one minute
before midnight, Sydney time). The essay should answer the following question:
Governments around the world are grappling with the COVID-19 pandemic. In Australia, the
Commonwealth government asked developers to create an app which would allow contact
tracing. The COVIDSafe app is a tool that helps identify people exposed to coronavirus (COVID19). The app can be downloaded at zero cost and its use is voluntary. The app is designed to help
assist slow the spread of COVID-19 and information about it can be found here < >.
You have been asked by the Department of Health to prepare a short essay using economic
arguments to help the government understand whether the app is likely to be successful and
what measures can be taken to ensure that it achieves its stated aim. In your essay you should
discuss the following issues:
a) A brief description of the economic considerations the government should have taken into
account when deciding about the development of the app. (Hint: think about it from the
government’s perspective).
b) How individuals make decisions from an economic perspective and the likely implications
of this for the downloading and use of the app. (Hint: focus on the user’s perspective)
c) Whether there may be any unintended consequences of the development and availability
of the app?
Suppose that in the face of rising rates of COVID-19 infections the government makes it
mandatory for individuals to download and activate the app. If individuals are found not to have
done so, then they will be given a $1100 fine.
d) Using your understanding of the economic model of crime, is such a policy likely to be
effective? Why or why not? What alternative policies might be used?
NOTE: It is vital that you build your arguments based on the concepts learned in this unit, and
back up your arguments through some additional research
• The essay should be 1000 words and no more than 1100 words.
• The essay should follow the following structure and contain the components listed below,
listed “a” through to “f”:
Title Page
A title page that includes the title of the essay and student ID (no student name).
a. Introduction (50 words)
b. Issue, Facts and Context (200-250 words recommended)
What is the nature of the public health issues and the economic consequences of COVID-19? Why
might the government wish to develop a tracing app (such as COVIDSafe) and what considerations
(e.g. costs and benefits) should be considered when developing and making available such a tool? All
references should be cited (see Reference section below).
c. Discussion of the economic model of individual decision making and its application to the use of
the COVIDSafe app (300 words recommended)
This section must contain a discussion of the economic model of decision making. You should identify
explicitly how individuals make decisions from an economic perspective and what are the likely
implications for the download and use of the app. You may wish to describe evidence from Australia
or other countries about the use of apps such as COVIDSafe for tracing purposes.
d. What some unintended consequences of the availability and use of the COVIDSafe app might be
(200 words recommended)
This section should identify what might be unintended consequences of the availability and use of
the COVIDSafe app on behaviours. Are these unintended consequences likely to make it more or less
likely that the COVID-19 pandemic is kept under control?
e. The consequences of making the use of COVIDSafe mandatory and the use of criminal sanctions
if not downloaded. (200 words recommended)
This section should discuss such a proposal by drawing on Becker’s model of crime. Your research
may identify alternative means by which the governments aim is achieved.
f. Conclusion (50 words)
References [*This section is not included in the word count*]
This section should list the references used in the paper. Use APA reference and citation style (6th
edition). For more information about the APA reference and citation style, please refer to the APA 6th
referencing guide, which is available on the Canvas site and on the USyd Library’s APA style site:;p=3476096
Below is a simple example of an in-text reference and a reference list entry:
In-text reference:
[…] In contrast to most other introductory microeconomics textbooks, Nguyen and Wait (2016)
discuss all economic concepts in a very concise manner. […]
Reference list:
Nguyen, B. & Wait, A. (2016). Essentials of Microeconomics. London, UK: Taylor & Francis.
Starter References.
Maloney, W. and Taskin, T. (2020), ‘Determinants of social distancing and economic activity during
COVID-19: A global view’, Policy Research Working Paper, No. 9242, World Bank, Washington,
Osman, M., Fenton, N.E., McLachlan, S., Lucas, P., Dube, K., Hitman, G., Kyrimi E. and M. Neil. (2020),
‘The thorny problems of Covid-19 contact tracing apps: the need for a holistic approach’,
Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy 4(S), pp. 57-61.
economics of the every day