Publications on COVID-19
There are 35 publications for COVID-19.
The Causes of Pandemic Inflation
One-Pager No. 70 | December 2022While the trigger for the Covid recession was unusual—a collapse of the supply side that produced a drop in demand—the inflation the US economy is now facing is not atypical, according to L. Randall Wray. In this one-pager, he explores the causes of the current inflationary environment, arguing that continuing inflation pressures come mostly from the supply side.
Wray warns that, given federal spending had already been declining substantially before the Fed started raising interest rates, rate hikes make a recession—and potentially stagflation—even more likely. A key part of our fiscal policy response should be focused on well-designed public investment addressing the substantial supply constraints still affecting the US economy—constraints that are not just due to the Covid crisis, but also decades of underinvestment in infrastructure. Such an approach, in Wray's view, would reduce inflationary pressures while supporting growth.
Download:Associated Programs:The State of the US and World Economies Monetary Policy and Financial Structure Federal Budget PolicyAuthor(s):
Greece: Recovery, or Another Recession?
Strategic Analysis, October 2022 | October 2022In this strategic analysis, Institute President Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, Senior Scholar Gennaro Zezza, and Research Associate Nikolaos Rodousakis discuss the medium-term prospects for the Greek economy in a time of increasing uncertainty—due to the geopolitical turbulence emanating from the Ukraine–Russian conflict, with its impact on the cost of energy, as well as the increase in international prices of some commodities.
Growth projections for the current year are lower than those recorded in 2021, indicating the economy needs to perform much better if it is to continue on the growth path that began in the pre-pandemic period. Similarly, growth projections for 2023 and 2024 appear much weaker, denoting serious consequences may be in store.
With increasing price levels and the euro depreciating, an economy like Greece’s that is highly dependent on increasingly costly imports will become more fragile as the current account deficit widens. In the authors’ view, the continuous recovery of the Greek economy rests with the government’s ability to utilize the NGEU funds swiftly and efficiently for projects that will increase the country’s productive capacity.
Reflections on Angela Merkel’s Career as Chancellor of Germany and the Greek Financial Odyssey
Working Paper No. 1010 | September 2022Angela Merkel is the second-longest-serving chancellor of modern Germany, with more than 16 years in office. During her tenure there were many years of economic stability, but there were also years of domestic, EU, and geopolitical tensions. Merkel inherited an economy that was recovering after the launching of probusiness policies known as the Hartz I IV Reforms, introduced by the government of the previous chancellor, Gerhard Schröder. Chancellor Merkel was criticized for mishandling the eurocrisis, as she failed to declare support for the financially distressed eurozone countries. Instead she convinced EU officials and country leaders to adopt a contractionary fiscal policy in the midst of a recession. As a result of the austerity measures, Merkel became popular among the German taxpayers and voters. This triggered credit rating agencies to downgrade the government bonds of the periphery eurozone countries and investors to sell these bonds, driving their prices to zero. Periphery eurozone countries came close to bankruptcy but were jointly bailed out by the EU and the IMF, though this prolonged the crisis. As a result of the imposed austerity, which was unnecessary and avoidable, millions of people became unemployed and experienced poverty, loss of dignity, and humiliation and Greece was the country hit hardest. For Merkel, placing national interests above EU interests was the most important mistake in her career; it took, however, a bigger crisis (i.e., the COVID-19 pandemic), to convince Merkel to place EU interests above national interests.Download:Associated Program:Author(s):George Zestos Harrison Whittleton Alejandro Fernandez-Ribas
What’s Causing Accelerating Inflation
Working Paper No. 1003 | March 2022
Pandemic or Policy Response?This paper examines the recent increase of the measured inflation rate to assess the degree to which the acceleration is due to problems created (largely on the supply side) by the pandemic versus pressures created on the demand side by pandemic relief. Some have attributed the inflation to excess demand, most notably Larry Summers, who had warned that the pandemic relief spending was too great. As evidence, one could point to the quick recovery of GDP and to reportedly tight labor markets. Others have variously blamed supply chain disruptions, shortages of certain inputs, OPEC’s oil price increases, labor market disruptions because of COVID, and rising profit margins obtained through exercise of pricing power. We conclude that there is little evidence that excess demand is the problem, although we agree that in the absence of the relief checks, recovery would have been sufficiently slow to minimize inflation pressure. We closely examine the main contributors to rising overall prices and conclude that tighter monetary policy would not be an effective way to reduce price pressures. We also cast doubt on the expectations theory of inflation control. We present evidence that suggests there is currently little danger that higher inflation will become entrenched. If anything, rate hikes now will make it harder for the economy to adjust to current realities. The potential for lots of pain with little gain is great. The best course of action is to tackle problems on the supply side.Download:Associated Program:Author(s):
COVID-19 and Fiscal-Monetary Policy Coordination
Working Paper No. 1002 | February 2022
Empirical Evidence from IndiaAgainst the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, this paper analyzes the economic stimulus packages announced by the Indian national government and tries to identify some plausible fiscal and monetary policy coordination. The shrinking fiscal space due to revenue uncertainties has led to a theoretical plausibility of a reemergence of finite monetization of deficits in India. However, the empirical evidence confirms no direct monetization of the deficit.Download:Associated Programs:Author(s):Lekha S. Chakraborty Harikrishnan S
Structural Change, Productive Development, and Capital Flows
Working Paper No. 999 | January 2022
Does Financial “Bonanza” Cause Premature Deindustrialization?The outbreak of COVID-19 brought back to the forefront the crucial importance of structural change and productive development for economic resilience to economic shocks. Several recent contributions have already stressed the perverse relationship that may exist between productive backwardness and the intensity of the COVID-19 socioeconomic crisis. In this paper, we analyze the factors that may have hindered productive development for over four decades before the pandemic. We investigate the role of (non-FDI) net capital inflows as a potential source of premature deindustrialization. We consider a sample of 36 developed and developing countries from 1980 to 2017, with major emphasis on the case of emerging and developing economies (EDE) in the context of increasing financial integration. We show that periods of abundant capital inflows may have caused the significant contraction of manufacturing share to employment and GDP, as well as the decrease of the economic complexity index. We also show that phenomena of “perverse” structural change are significantly more relevant in EDE countries than advanced ones. Based on such evidence, we conclude with some policy suggestions highlighting capital controls and external macroprudential measures taming international capital mobility as useful tools for promoting long-run productive development on top of strengthening (short-term) financial and macroeconomic stability.Download:Associated Program:Author(s):Alberto Botta Giuliano Toshiro Yajima Gabriel Porcile
A Recovery for Whom?
Policy Note 2021/4 | November 2021
The Case of the Greek Tourism SectorThe COVID-19 pandemic has revealed multiple risks faced by economies whose production structures depend on the volatility of international conditions. In the case of Greece, this has manifested itself in the severe impact the pandemic has had on one of the linchpins of the Greek economy: the tourism sector. Vlassis Missos, Nikolaos Rodousakis, and George Soklis document the impact of the pandemic on tourism and the significance of tourism revenues for Greece’s 2021 GDP recovery. They argue that the distributional effect of the tourism sector plays a significant role in overall income inequality in Greece and develop a number of policy recommendations aiming to correct some of the problematic aspects of the country’s tourism sector.Download:Associated Program:Author(s):Vlassis Missos Nikolaos Rodousakis George Soklis
Biden Infrastructure and Families Plans Would Have Significant Positive Macroeconomic Benefits for US Economy, New Levy Economics Institute Study Says
Press Release, June 25, 2021 | June 2021Download:Associated Program:Author(s):Mark Primoff
The Pandemic, the Stimulus, and the Future Prospects for the US Economy
Strategic Analysis, June 2021 | June 2021In this report, Institute President Dimitri B. Papadimitriou and Research Scholars Michalis Nikiforos and Gennaro Zezza analyze how the US economy was affected by the pandemic and its prospects for recovery.
Their baseline simulation using the Institute’s stock-flow macroeconometric model shows a significant pickup in the growth rate in 2021 as a result of the American Rescue Plan Act. The report includes two additional scenarios simulated on top of the baseline, finding that President Biden’s infrastructure and families plans—whether paired with offsetting tax increases on high-earners or “deficit financed”—would have positive macroeconomic effects. Additionally, Papadimitriou, Nikiforos, and Zezza warn that if US policymakers do not prioritize decreasing the trade deficit, maintaining growth will require either continuous and very high government deficits or the private sector once again becoming a net borrower.
Finally, they argue that concerns about a sharp increase in inflation spurred by the fiscal stimulus are unwarranted: the US economy was not close to full employment or full utilization of resources before the pandemic, and the propagation mechanisms that could lead to accelerating inflation are not in place.Download:Associated Program:Author(s):
Why President Biden Should Eliminate Corporate Taxes to Build Back Better
Policy Note 2021/3 | June 2021Edward Lane and L. Randall Wray explain how federal taxes on corporate profits are not well suited to either containing inflationary pressures or reducing inequality. They are not only a poor complement to President Biden’s proposed infrastructure plans, but are inefficient and ineffective taxes more broadly, according to Lane and Wray. The authors follow Hyman Minsky in recommending the elimination of corporate taxes, and they outline a replacement centered on the taxation of unrealized capital gains.Download:Associated Programs:Author(s):Edward Lane L. Randall Wray
Restarting the Greek Economy?
Strategic Analysis, May 2021 | May 2021The Greek economy—still fragile due to the lingering effects of the 2009–10 crisis—was hit particularly hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Greece’s 2020 GDP decline was one of the worst among the group of EU and eurozone member states, along with the highest levels of unemployment and underemployment.
Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, Christos Pierros, Nikos Rodousakis, and Gennaro Zezza update their analysis of the state of the Greek economy on the basis of recently released provisional data for 2020Q4, and model three projections through 2023: (1) a baseline scenario in which no agreement is reached on the disbursement of EU funds (the Recovery and Resilience Facility); (2) a scenario in which EU grants and loans are distributed in a timely manner; and (3) an additional scenario that pairs EU funds with implementation of an employer-of-last resort program. The second scenario would see Greece’s GDP growth return to its pre-pandemic trend—albeit still leaving the economy below the level of real GDP it reached in 2008. The third scenario has the most favorable impact on growth and employment—raising real GDP above its pre-pandemic trend. Failure to achieve a proper recovery of GDP in Greece would be directly related to an absence of fiscal policy expansion.
This Strategic Analysis is the joint product of the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College and INE-GSEE (Athens, Greece). It is simultaneously issued in both English and Greek.Download:Associated Program:Author(s):
Gender and Race in the Spotlight during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Policy Note 2021/2 | May 2021
The Impact of the Emergency Benefit on Poverty and Extreme Poverty in BrazilResearch Scholar Luiza Nassif-Pires, Luísa Cardoso, and Ana Luíza Matos de Oliveira analyze the importance of the “emergency benefit” (Auxílio Emergencial) in containing the increase in poverty and extreme poverty in Brazil during the COVID-19 pandemic. They find the emergency benefit mitigated the loss of income, brought the poverty rate to historically low levels, and reduced inequality: poverty gaps in terms of gender and (to a lesser degree) race narrowed in 2020. However, their simulations show that a planned reduction in transfer levels for 2021 will result in the emergency benefit providing substantially less social protection against loss of income than its more robust 2020 version.Download:Associated Programs:Author(s):Luiza Nassif Pires Luísa Cardoso Ana Luíza Matos de Oliveira
COVID Relief and the Inflation Warriors
One-Pager No. 65 | February 2021With the unveiling of President Biden’s nearly $2 trillion proposal for addressing the COVID-19 crisis, Democrats appear keen to avoid repeating the mistakes of the Great Recession—most notably the inadequate fiscal response.
Yeva Nersisyan and L. Randall Wray observe that while Democrats are not falling for the “deficit bogeyman” this time, critics have pushed the idea that the increase in government spending will cause inflation. Nersisyan and Wray argue that the current fiscal package should be evaluated as a set of relief measures, not stimulus, and that the objections of the inflation worriers should not stand in the way of taking needed action.Download:Associated Program:Author(s):
What Jobs Should a Public Job Guarantee Provide?
Working Paper No. 981 | January 2021
Lessons from Hyman P. MinskyThe job guarantee is a viable policy option for tackling both unemployment and underemployment. Hyman P. Minsky was one of the seminal writers on this subject. The first part of this working paper provides a survey of Minsky’s writings to identify what kind of jobs he had in mind when recommending employer-of-last-resort policies. Minsky favored: (1) jobs increasing socially useful output, providing all of society better public services and goods; (2) jobs guaranteed by the public sector on a project-by-project basis at a minimum wage; (3) jobs in the places where people need them; and (4) jobs taking the people that need them as they are. The second part of the paper suggests policy recommendations for today’s economy. As long as the COVID-19 pandemic still rages on, a targeted public job guarantee program can assist in the social provisioning and distribution of food, shelter, and medical services. After the pandemic, a public job guarantee can reduce poverty and inequality, and bring about a more democratic, sustainable, and socially cohesive economic system.Download:Associated Program:Author(s):Daniel Haim
What’s Ahead for the Greek Economy?
Strategic Analysis, December 2020 | December 2020While the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have been broadly similar for individuals, families, societies, and economies globally, the policy responses have varied significantly between countries. In the case of Greece, the pandemic abruptly ended the country’s fragile recovery and threw its economy into a dramatic contraction beginning in 2020Q2. Fiscal stimulus programs financed by reserve funds and European-backed structural funds have been implemented, but to date there is no evidence of a significant impact. Given the emergence of COVID-19’s second wave of contagion and the economic consequences of business shutdowns and further job losses, our own growth projections, as well as those from the European Commission, IMF, OECD, and the Greek government, have been revised downward for 2021 and prospects for the beginning of a recovery before the end of 2020 have died out.
Using their stock-flow consistent macroeconomic model developed for Greece (LIMG), we run simulations for a baseline scenario and two alternative policy outcomes. The results of the projections for a “business as usual” baseline scenario are pessimistic and show that a V-shaped recovery is not in the cards. The European “recovery funds” alternative scenario projections, while more pessimistic than our report from May 2019, indicate that implementing these funds beginning in 2021Q3 will result in accelerating growth with positive outcomes. A more robust GDP growth rate and consequent employment growth can be realized with the combined effects of the European recovery funds together with an enhanced public job guarantee program. It is this mix of policies that can gain traction and bear fruit in putting the Greek economy on a path to sustainable and inclusive growth.
This Strategic Analysis is the joint product of the Levy Economics Institute of Bard College and INE-GSEE (Athens, Greece). It is simultaneously issued in both English and Greek.Download:Associated Program:Author(s):
Potential Impact of Daycare Closures on Parental Child Caregiving in Turkey
Working Paper No. 978 | November 2020Daycares closed on March 16, 2020 in Turkey to prevent the spread of COVID-19. At the same time, the two most common nonparental childcare arrangements in Turkey—care of children by grandparents and nannies—became undesirable due to health concerns and in some cases also unfeasible due to the partial lockdown for individuals under the age of 20 and over the age of 64. We estimate the potential impact of new constraints on nonparental childcare arrangements due to the pandemic on parental caregiving time of married parents of preschool-age children by using data from the 2014–15 Turkish Time Use Survey. Comparing how parental caregiving time varies by gender and use of nonparental childcare arrangements, we find that new constraints on nonparental childcare arrangements during the pandemic have potentially increased the gender difference in parental caregiving time by an hour and forty minutes in Turkey.Download:Associated Program:Author(s):
Alternative Macro Policy Response for a Pandemic Recession
Policy Note 2020/6 | October 2020As COVID-19 infection and test positivity rates rise in the United States and federal stimulus plans expire, Senior Scholar Jan Kregel articulates an alternative approach to analyzing the economic problems raised by the pandemic and organizing an appropriate policy response. In contrast to both the mainstream and some Keynesian-inspired approaches, Kregel advocates a central role for direct social provisioning as a means of equitably sharing the costs of quarantine under conditions of strict lockdown.Download:Associated Programs:Author(s):Jan Kregel
When Will Italy Recover?
Strategic Analysis, October 2020 | October 2020Italy was the first European country to be impacted by COVID-19, rapidly overwhelming healthcare facilities in some areas and prompting the government to shut down nonessential economic activities, with an inevitable (asymmetric) impact on production and income. Though the gradual reopening of most business activities began in 2020Q3, the extent of the shutdown’s damage is difficult to assess. The current political debate is now focusing on what can be achieved with European funds (in the form of both grants and loans), which should become available beginning in 2021. In this Strategic Analysis, Institute President Dimitri B. Papadimitriou, Research Associate Francesco Zezza, and Research Scholar Gennaro Zezza detail the shutdown’s impact on business activities in Italy, incorporating the planned government intervention with preliminary evidence available through 2020Q3 to evaluate a baseline projection for the Italian economy up to 2022.Download:Associated Program:Author(s):
The COVID-19 Crisis
Working Paper No. 968 | September 2020
A Minskyan Approach to Mapping and Managing the (Western?) Financial TurmoilThe 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.Download:Associated Program:Author(s):Leonardo Burlamaqui Ernani T. Torres Filho
Multidimensional Inequality and COVID-19 in Brazil
Public Policy Brief No. 153, 2020 | September 2020After 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.Download:Associated Programs:Author(s):Luiza Nassif Pires Laura Carvalho Eduardo Rawet
The Early Impact of COVID-19 on Job Losses among Black Women in the United States
Working Paper No. 963 | July 2020The 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.
Download:Associated Program: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 EraThis 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.Download:Associated Program:Author(s):
Greece’s Economy after COVID-19
Strategic Analysis, May 2020 | May 2020Greece’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.Download:Associated Program:Author(s):
Guaranteeing Employment during the Pandemic and Beyond
Policy Note 2020/4 | May 2020The 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.Download:Associated Program:Author(s):
COVID-19 Crisis Likely to Widen Income, Racial, and Gender Inequality, Exacerbating Spread of the Virus and Prolonging Economic Downturn, New Levy Study Says
Press Release, April 17, 2020 | May 2020Download:Associated Programs:Author(s):Mark Primoff
Immigration Policy Undermines the US Pandemic Response
Policy Note 2020/3 | April 2020Research 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.Download:Associated Programs:Gender Equality and the Economy Immigration, Ethnicity, and Social Structure Economic Policy for the 21st CenturyAuthor(s):
Pandemic of Inequality
Public Policy Brief No. 149, 2020 | April 2020The 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.Download:Associated Programs:Author(s):Luiza Nassif Pires Laura de Lima Xavier Thomas Masterson Michalis Nikiforos Fernando Rios-Avila
Federal Fiscal Stabilization Program Needed to Prevent Severe State and Local Budget Shortfalls from Deepening Covid-19 Recession
Press Release, April 8, 2020 | April 2020Download:Associated Programs:Author(s):Mark Primoff
Public Charge in the Time of Coronavirus
Working Paper No. 950 | April 2020The 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.Download:Associated Programs:Gender Equality and the Economy Immigration, Ethnicity, and Social Structure Economic Policy for the 21st CenturyAuthor(s):
Stabilizing State and Local Budgets through the Pandemic and Beyond
Policy Note 2020/2 | April 2020The 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.Download:Associated Programs:Author(s):Alex Williams
Economic Impact of Novel Coronavirus Exacerbated by Fragile Corporate Balance Sheets, New Levy Study Says
Press Release, March 20, 2020 | March 2020Download:Associated Program:Author(s):Mark Primoff
When Two Minskyan Processes Meet a Large Shock
Policy Note 2020/1 | March 2020
The Economic Implications of the PandemicThe 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.Download:Associated Programs:Author(s):
Significantly Overstretched Corporate Balance Sheets Make U.S. Economy Vulnerable to Economic Shocks, New Levy Economics Institute Study Says
Press Release, March 16, 2020 | March 2020Download:Associated Program:Author(s):Mark Primoff
The Economic Response to the Coronavirus Pandemic
One-Pager No. 62 | March 2020As 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.Download:Associated Program:Author(s):
A Global Slowdown Will Test US Corporate Fragility
One-Pager No. 61 | March 2020The 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.Download:Associated Program:Author(s):