Fight the Pandemic, Save the Economy: Lessons from the 1918 Flu
The COVID-19 outbreak has sparked urgent questions about the impact of pandemics, and associated countermeasures, on the real economy. Policymakers are in uncharted territory, with little guidance on what the expected economic fallout will be and how the crisis should be managed. In this blog post, we use insights from a recent research paper to discuss two sets of questions. First, what are the real economic effects of a pandemic—and are these effects temporary or persistent? Second, how does the local public health response affect the economic severity of the pandemic? In particular, do ...
How Fast Has COVID-19 Been Spreading?
For many countries, the number of COVID-19 cases seems to double every few days.
Expected U.S. Macroeconomic Performance during the Pandemic Adjustment Period
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard recommends declaring a “National Pandemic Adjustment Period” and discusses three broad goals of macroeconomic policy during this period.
COVID-19: A View from the Labor Market
This paper examines the response of the U.S. labor market to a large and persistent job separation rate shock, motivated by the ongoing economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We use nonlinear methods to analytically and numerically characterize the responses of vacancy creation and unemployment. Vacancies decline in response to the shock when firms expect persistent job destruction and the number of unemployed searching for work is low. Quantitatively, under our baseline forecast the unemployment rate peaks at 19.7%, 2 months after the shock, and takes 1 year to return to 5%. Relative to ...
Health versus Wealth: On the Distributional Effects of Controlling a Pandemic
To slow the spread of COVID-19, many countries are shutting down nonessential sectors of the economy. Older individuals have the most to gain from slowing virus diffusion. Younger workers in sectors that are shuttered have the most to lose. In this paper, we build a model in which economic activity and disease progression are jointly determined. Individuals differ by age (young and retired), by sector (basic and luxury), and by health status. Disease transmission occurs in the workplace, in consumption activities, at home, and in hospitals. We study the optimal economic mitigation policy of a ...
The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Demand for Density: Evidence from the U.S. Housing Market
Cities are shaped by the strength of agglomeration and dispersion forces. We show that the COVID-19 pandemic has re-introduced disease transmission as a dispersion force in modern cities. We use detailed housing data to study the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the location demand for housing. We find that the pandemic has led to a greater decline in the demand for housing in neighborhoods with high population density. We further show that the reduced demand for density is partially driven by the diminished need of living close to jobs that are telework-compatible and the declining value ...
Assessing Second-Quarter Unemployment amid the Pandemic
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard looks at some unemployment indicators for the second quarter so far and compares them to estimates from a March blog post.
Payroll Employment Trends across the Fifth District
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented amount of job loss, yet only a few industries have accounted for a significant portion of it. How do these industry-specific trends in the Fifth District compare to the U.S. overall, and is there any relationship between recent job recovery and states’ phased reopening plans?
The COVID-19 Pandemic and the Fifth District Economy
As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads across the country, Americans are taking measures to distance themselves from their communities, both voluntarily and by mandate. What measures have Fifth District jurisdictions taken and what might this mean for the Fifth District economy?