What the Boston Lockdown Might Cost
Policy + Politics

What the Boston Lockdown Might Cost

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

The manhunt for the remaining Boston Marathon bombing suspect has largely shut down the city and its surrounding areas, as authorities asked residents in Boston and a number of nearby neighborhoods to stay indoors.

Boston Logan International Airport remained open and was operating under “heightened security,” according to the Massachusetts Port Authority, but the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority suspended all public transportation, and businesses large and small told employees to stay home. Schools including Boston College, Boston University, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where authorities said a campus patrol officer was shot and killed by the bombing suspects last night, all cancelled classes.

The Boston metropolitan area had a GDP of nearly $326 billion in 2011, according to data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis released in February. That makes the city and its surroundings the ninth largest metro area in the U.S., with an economy larger than those of Greece, Finland, Singapore, Portugal or Ireland.

It’s far too early to get a complete sense of the economic impact of Monday’s bombings and the subsequent manhunt, a simple – or simplistic – calculation based on that $326 billion figure suggests that shutting down the area for a day could cost the regions’ economy about $1 billion. That doesn’t account for productivity lost nationally as workers tune into to TV news or other outlets to follow the unfolding events.