Research Topics

Publications on COVID-19

There are 17 publications for COVID-19.
  • The COVID-19 Crisis


    Working Paper No. 968 | September 2020
    A Minskyan Approach to Mapping and Managing the (Western?) Financial Turmoil
    The COVID-19 crisis paralyzed huge parts of the planet in weeks. It not only infected the population but injected a gargantuan dose of uncertainty into the system. In that regard, as in many others, it is a phenomenon without precedent. As of the time of writing (May–June 2020), we are witnessing, simultaneously, a health crisis, an economic crisis, and a crisis of global governance as well. In the forthcoming months, it could well turn into a set of financial, social, and political crises most governments and international organizations are ill-prepared to handle. In this paper, what concerns us is the financial dimension of the crisis. The paper is divided into four sections. Following the introduction, the second section maps the financial dimension of the pandemic through an extension of Hyman Minsky’s financial fragility analysis. The result is a three-pronged analytical framework that encompasses financial fragility, financial instability, and insolvency-triggered asset-liability restructuring processes. These are seen as three distinct but interconnected processes advancing financial fragility. The third section dissects how these three processes have been managed as they have unfolded since March 2020, underlining the key policy interventions and institutional innovations introduced so far, and suggesting further measures for addressing the forthcoming stages of the financial turmoil. The fourth section concludes the paper by pointing out the results as of June 2020 and highlights our intended analytical contribution to Minsky’s theoretical framework.
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    Author(s):
    Leonardo Burlamaqui Ernani T. Torres Filho

  • Multidimensional Inequality and COVID-19 in Brazil


    Public Policy Brief No. 153, 2020 | September 2020
    After spending over 6 percent of GDP responding to the COVID-19 crisis, Brazil has suffered among the worst per capita numbers in the world in terms of cases and deaths. In this policy brief, Luiza Nassif-Pires, Laura Carvalho, and Eduardo Rawet explore how stark inequalities along racial, regional, and class lines can help account for why the pandemic has had such a damaging impact on Brazil. Although they find that fiscal policy measures have so far neutralized the impact of the crisis with respect to income inequality, the existence of structural inequalities along racial lines in particular have resulted in an unequally shared public health burden. Broader policy changes are necessary for addressing dimensions of inequality that are rooted in structural racism.

  • The Early Impact of COVID-19 on Job Losses among Black Women in the United States


    Working Paper No. 963 | July 2020
    The COVID-19 pandemic seemingly appeared out of nowhere but changed nearly everything. As the pandemic unfolded, industries deemed nonessential were leveled. Many occupations in these industries are low-wage, and women constitute a greater share of America’s low-wage labor force than men. Even as some workers were able to do their jobs from their homes, a high proportion of “essential workers” were African American, other people of color, women, and an intersection of these groups—women of color. The goal of this paper is to closely examine the contours, depth, and causes of COVID-19’s impact on Black women’s employment in the United States through the lenses of both feminist economic theory and stratification economics.

    The data appendix for Holder, Jones, and Masterson, "The Early Impact of COVID-19 on Job Losses Among Black Women in the United States," forthcoming in Feminist Economics is available here. This appendix includes detailed tables of major labor force indicators by race and sex; employment by race, sex, and industry and occupation; and unemployment by race and sex for early 2020.
     
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    Author(s):
    Michelle Holder Janelle Jones Thomas Masterson

  • Crisis, Austerity, and Fiscal Expenditure in Greece


    Public Policy Brief No. 151, 2020 | June 2020
    Recent Experience and Future Prospects in the Post-COVID-19 Era
    This policy brief provides a discussion of the relationships between austerity, Greece’s macroeconomic performance, debt sustainability, and the provision of healthcare and other social services over the last decade. It explains that austerity was imposed in the name of debt sustainability. However, there was a vicious cycle of recession and austerity: each round of austerity measures led to a deeper recession, which increased the debt-to-GDP ratio and therefore undermined the goal of debt sustainability, leading to another round of austerity. One of the effects of these austerity policies was the significant reduction in healthcare expenditure, which made Greece more vulnerable to the recent pandemic. Finally, it shows how recent pre-COVID debt sustainability analyses projected that Greek public debt would become unsustainable even under minor deviations from an optimistic baseline. The pandemic shock will thus lead to an explosion of public debt. This brings the need for a restructuring of the Greek public debt to the fore once again, as well as other policies that will address the eurozone’s structural imbalances.

  • Greece’s Economy after COVID-19


    Strategic Analysis, May 2020 | May 2020
    Greece’s fragile economic recovery was halted by the COVID-19 pandemic: GDP, employment, exports, and investment are expected to record significantly negative trends. While some projections for GDP growth show a quick V-shaped recovery beginning in 2021, this is rather improbable given the Greek economy’s structural inefficiencies.
     
    This strategic analysis explores the consequences of various assumptions about the fall in the different sources of aggregate demand in order to produce a baseline projection for the Greek economy. A more optimistic scenario is also analyzed, in which the European Commission’s recently announced Recovery Fund materializes, allowing the government to increase public consumption as well as investment through EU grants and loans. The authors recommend additional measures to alleviate the impact of the shock and help put Greece’s economy back on track when the epidemic has died out.

  • Guaranteeing Employment during the Pandemic and Beyond


    Policy Note 2020/4 | May 2020
    The ongoing job losses, already numbering in the tens of millions, and the mass unemployment that will remain once the COVID-19 crisis has passed are of our own making, argues Pavlina R. Tcherneva, created by our inability to conceive of policies that protect and create jobs on demand. There is another option: instead of capitulating to a world of guaranteed unemployment, we can demand policies that guarantee employment. During the pandemic, the government can protect jobs by acting as a kind of employer of last resort, while in the post-pandemic world it can create jobs directly via mass mobilization and a job guarantee. In this environment, backstopping payrolls, mass mobilization, and the job guarantee are three different but organically linked policies that aim to secure the right to decent, useful, and remunerative employment opportunities for all.

  • Immigration Policy Undermines the US Pandemic Response


    Policy Note 2020/3 | April 2020
    Research Scholar Martha Tepepa explains how the US response to the COVID-19 crisis will be hindered by its approach to immigration policy. The administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration campaign creates a public health risk in the context of this pandemic, and the recent implementation of the “Inadmissibility on Public Charge Grounds” final rule penalizing noncitizen recipients of some social services will further restrict access to treatment and encumber the fight against the coronavirus.

  • Pandemic of Inequality


    Public Policy Brief No. 149, 2020 | April 2020
    The costs of the COVID-19 pandemic—in terms of both the health risks and economic burdens—will be borne disproportionately by the most vulnerable segments of US society. In this public policy brief, Luiza Nassif-Pires, Laura de Lima Xavier, Thomas Masterson, Michalis Nikiforos, and Fernando Rios-Avila demonstrate that the COVID-19 crisis is likely to widen already-worrisome levels of income, racial, and gender inequality in the United States. Minority and low-income populations are more likely to develop severe infections that can lead to hospitalization and death due to COVID-19; they are also more likely to experience job losses and declines in their well-being.

    The authors argue that our policy response to the COVID-19 crisis must target these unequally shared burdens—and that a failure to mitigate the regressive impact of the crisis will not only be unjust, it will prolong the pandemic and undermine any ensuing economic recovery efforts. As the authors note, we are in danger of falling victim to a vicious cycle: the pandemic and economic lockdown will worsen inequality; and these inequalities exacerbate the spread of the virus, not to mention further weaken the structure of the US economy.

  • Public Charge in the Time of Coronavirus


    Working Paper No. 950 | April 2020
    The United States government recently passed legislation and stabilization packages to respond to the COVID-19 (i.e., coronavirus disease 2019) outbreak by providing paid sick leave, tax credits, and free virus testing; expanding food assistance and unemployment benefits; and increasing Medicaid funding. However, the response to the global pandemic might be hindered by the lassitude of the state and the administration’s conception of social policy that leaves the most vulnerable unprotected. The administration’s “zero tolerance” immigration campaign poses public health challenges, especially in the prevention of communicable diseases. In addition to the systemic obstacles noncitizens face in their access to healthcare, recent changes to immigration law that penalize recipients of some social services on grounds that they are a public charge will further restrict their access to treatment and hinder the fight against the pandemic.

  • Stabilizing State and Local Budgets through the Pandemic and Beyond


    Policy Note 2020/2 | April 2020
    The federal government appears to have abandoned the idea of a coordinated public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic, leaving the entirety to state and local governments. Meanwhile, the economic standstill resulting from necessary public health measures will soon cripple state and local budgets. Alexander Williams outlines a proposal for an intragovernmental automatic stabilizer program that would provide a backstop for state and local finances—both during the pandemic and beyond. Without this program, states will be severely constrained in their ability to respond to COVID-19, and balanced budget requirements will force them to cut jobs and raise taxes during the deepest recession in living memory.
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    Author(s):
    Alex Williams

  • When Two Minskyan Processes Meet a Large Shock


    Policy Note 2020/1 | March 2020
    The Economic Implications of the Pandemic
    The spread of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) is a major shock for the US and global economies. Research Scholar Michalis Nikiforos explains that we cannot fully understand the economic implications of the pandemic without reference to two Minskyan processes at play in the US economy: the growing divergence of stock market prices from output prices, and the increasing fragility in corporate balance sheets.

    The pandemic did not arrive in the context of an otherwise healthy US economy—the demand and supply dimensions of the shock have aggravated an inevitable adjustment process. Using a Minskyan framework, we can understand how the current economic weakness can be perpetuated through feedback effects between flows of demand and supply and their balance sheet impacts.

  • The Economic Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic


    One-Pager No. 62 | March 2020
    As the coronavirus (COVID-19) spreads across the United States, it has become clear that, in addition to the public health response (which has been far less than adequate), an economic response is needed. Yeva Nersisyan and Senior Scholar L. Randall Wray identify four steps that require immediate attention: (1) full coverage of medical costs associated with testing and treatment of COVID-19; (2) mandated paid sick leave and full coverage of associated costs; (3) debt relief for families; and (4) swift deployment of testing and treatment facilities to underserved communities.
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    Author(s):
    Yeva Nersisyan L. Randall Wray

  • A Global Slowdown Will Test US Corporate Fragility


    One-Pager No. 61 | March 2020
    The rapidly growing uncertainty about the potential global fallout from an emerging pandemic is occurring against a background in which there is evidence US corporate sector balance sheets are significantly overstretched, exhibiting a degree of fragility that, according to some measures, is unmatched in the postwar historical record. The US economy is vulnerable to a shock that could trigger a cascade of falling asset prices and private sector deleveraging, with severe consequences for both the real and financial sides of the economy.

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