Does the BCG Vaccine Protect Against Coronavirus? Applying an Economist’s Toolkit to a Medical Question
As COVID-19 has spread across the globe, there is an intense search for treatments and vaccines, with numerous trials running in multiple countries. Several observers and prominent news outlets have noticed that countries still administering an old vaccine against tuberculosis—the Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine—have had fewer coronavirus cases and fewer deaths per capita in the early stages of the outbreak. But is that correlation really strong evidence that the BCG vaccine provides some defense against COVID-19? In this post, we look at the incidence of coronavirus cases along ...
Predicting the Unemployment Rate in a Time of Coronavirus
Economists forecast the unemployment rate all the time. Usually, though, they use data over the previous months and quarters to forecast the unemployment rate out several years. Since the relationships between the unemployment rate and things like GDP growth and employment are mostly stable over time, and since month-to-month movements in the unemployment rate are usually small, these forecasts usually work well.
Possible Fiscal Policies for Rare, Unanticipated and Severe Viral Outbreaks
What should guide a fiscal authority in conducting macroeconomic policy in the event of a severe viral outbreak?
How Many Employees Are Prepared to Work from Home?
Sorting workers by occupation and income helps shed light on who is more likely to be able to work remotely.
COVID-19: Which Workers Face the Highest Unemployment Risk?
Some 46% of U.S. workers are employed in occupations at “high risk” of layoff due to COVID-19 measures. How much could it cost to offset their lost income?
Social Distancing and Contact-Intensive Occupations
Some jobs certainly require more close interaction with other folks than other jobs. Which occupations are the most interactive, and which states have higher shares of these jobs?
Back-of-the-Envelope Estimates of Next Quarter’s Unemployment Rate
Layoffs are certainly one of the effects of battling COVID-19. What sort of unemployment rate might we see in the second quarter of 2020?
COVID-19 and Financial Distress: Employment Vulnerability
The burden of COVID-19 will likely be borne unevenly, with the largest financial burdens potentially hitting populations already vulnerable to economic shocks.
The St. Louis Fed's Financial Stress Index, Version 2.0
The St. Louis Fed's financial stress index has been recalibrated to better capture evolving stresses in financial markets.
“Parasite,” COVID-19, and U.S. Wealth Inequality
The movie “Parasite” focuses on two South Korean families on the opposite ends of the wealth spectrum. What insights can it provide about wealth inequality in the U.S.?