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Links to Economic Considerations and COVID 19

Brookings is one of the most respected sources of economic information.  This publication goes over many different aspects of the US reopening the economy.  "In this publication, we analyze the U.S. domestic situation and discuss how to reopen America in ways that address fundamental problems. For the good of the United States and the safety of the global community, we present a number of ideas for protecting public health, restarting the overall economy, and promoting social well-being. Our scholars discuss how to preserve jobs, improve the social safety net, provide equitable healthcare, address the needs of vulnerable populations, reopen schools, deploy tech-nology, and improve institutional capacity."


The entire article can be read here.

This book is an easier read for people not acquainted with economics.  "We have some evidence that suggests that a failure to abate the spread of the virus through social distancing can make economic recovery thereafter more difficult. Economists have examined the differences in non-pharmaceutical pandemic interventions across different US cities during the Flu Pandemic of 1918.6. The pandemic reduced US manufacturing by an estimated 18 percent making it a large recession indeed. Those cities that pushed earlier and more intensively on pandemic containment ended up bouncing back and having higher economic growth thereafter, and more exposed areas had a decline in economic activity that persisted. This finding suggests that the choice between the economy and public health is not a hard one— pursuing public health can be consistent with superior long-run economic performance."



To access this book, please go here.

NBER (National Bureau of Economic Research) has many working papers available written by top economists.  This paper discusses Macroeconomics of epidemics.  The authors discuss the economic impact of reopening too soon or delaying containment measures.  The economic cost is high, resulting in a persistent recession, as well as increasing the death toll. "Finally, we quantify the effects of delaying or prematurely ending optimal containment policies. Abandoning containment policies prematurely leads to an initial economic recovery.But it also leads to a large rise in infection rates. That rise causes a new, persistent recession.Tragically, the overall death toll rises because optimal policy was abandoned."

Read the entire article here.


Another NBER paper.  "We use a five-age epidemiological model, combined with 66-sector economic accounting, to addressa variety of questions concerning the economic reopening. We calibrate/estimate the model using contactsurvey data and data on weekly historical individual actions and non-pharmaceutical interventionsin the weeks ending March 8 – May 16, 2020. Going forward, we model a decision-maker (governor)as following reopening guidelines like those proposed by the White House and the CDC. The sectoralaccounting, combined with information on personal proximity and ability to work from home by sector,make it possible to construct a GDP-to-Risk index of which sectors provide the greatest incrementin GDP per marginal increase in R0. Through simulations, we find that: a strong economic reopeningis possible; a “smart” reopening, preferencing some sectors over others, makes only modest improvementsover a broad reopening; and all this hinges on retaining strong restrictions on non-work social contacts.If non-work contacts – going to bars, shopping without social distancing and masks, large group gatherings,etc. – return only half-way to the pre-COVID-19 baseline, the current decline in deaths reverses leadingto a second wave of business closures."

To read the entire paper, go here.

Another Brookings report on reopening.  "This note makes four key points: 1)Non-economic NPIs play a critical role in getting people back to work. There are important non-pharmaceutical interventions that, while individually limited, collectively hold the potential to substantially reduce the spread of the virus. These include social distancing; testing, contact tracing and quarantine; wearing masks; and having adequate personal protective equipment for workers in jobs that are unavoidably high-contact. None are a silver bullet, but collectively they can reduce the probability of transmission outside the workplace and thereby make room for getting people back to work and back to something more closely resembling normal economic activity. 2)Low-contact, high-value workplaces should be reopened quickly, and returning workers must feel safe. Many jobs are either low-contact or can be made so by suitable modifications of the workplace. In some cases, those modifications are low cost, like encouraging work-from-home, while in other cases they might entail some productivity reductions to facilitate worker distancing at work. When coupled with low-contact forms of transport to work, such jobs can be reopened quickly. 3)Some high-contact activities might need to be suspended indefinitely. Certain high-contact activities might require a hiatus until a vaccine and/or effective treatment is developed. These include both economic activities (for example, live fans at professional sports) and activities with less or no economic component. 4)Avoid a second dip that could induce severe long-term damage to workers and the economy. While reopening the economy is urgently needed, doing so in a way that leads to a second wave of deaths and a subsequent second shutdown could result in damage that is lasting and profound. Such damage has largely been avoided to date because of federal fiscal support and aggressive actions of the Federal Reserve. There are reasons to be pessimistic, however, that these levels of support would either be available or as effective in a second wave of deaths and closings, which could lead to those temporarily unemployed now becoming long-term unemployed without a job to return to, waves of bankruptcies, and severe strains on credit markets. "

To read the entire article, go here.

Another NBER paper.  "In sum, our analysis suggests that the primary barrier to economic activity is depressed con-sumer spending due to the threat of COVID-19 itself as opposed to government restrictions oneconomic activity, inadequate income among consumers, or a lack of liquidity for firms. Hence,the only path to full economic recovery in the long run may be to restore consumer confidenceby addressing the virus itself"

Read the entire paper here.


Go to their economic tracking site here.

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