VoxEU & CEPR Coverage of the Covid-19 Global Pandemic

Sara Markowitz, Erik Nesson, Joshua J. Robinson, 28 May 2020

High levels of economic activity can foster the spread of communicable diseases through frequent person-to-person interactions.  This column discusses how research on high levels of employment affects the spread of influenza and other viruses transmitted via droplet-spread, such as SARS-CoV-2.   The results show that the high levels of employment in the US encourages the spread of influenza, especially when employment in service sectors are high.  Our results provide support for social distancing measures aimed to slow the growth of cases of COVID-19.

Jaime de Melo, Verena Tandrayen-Ragoobur , Boopen Seetanah, 28 May 2020

When they are strict and prolonged, the public health and social measures to contain Covid-19 have proven difficult to respect. This column gives evidence of the different outcomes, as of 23 May, across a sample of 20 tourist-dependent island states with populations of between 100,000 and 10 million. If tourist-dependent islands have been hit hard by the shock, most have fared well, particularly those – like Mauritius – that acted early and imposed a strict lockdown. 

David Argente, Salome Baslandze, Douglas Hanley, Sara Moreira, 28 May 2020

Patents are at the heart of policies designed to incentivise innovation and productivity growth. In recent years however, while patent activity has skyrocketed, innovation and productivity growth have not. This column collects data on product innovations and links those to their respective patent. While patent filings are found to be followed by product innovations overall, this relationship is much stronger for firms with lower market share.

Elias Papaioannou, Stefanie Stantcheva, 27 May 2020

To the world, Alberto Alesina was an engaged, prolific economist improving the policy debate. To the economics profession, he was a giant and driving force in the field of political economy. To the authors of this column, he was a brilliant, warm and funny close co-author and friend. 

Francesco Giavazzi, Guido Tabellini, Beatrice Weder di Mauro, 26 May 2020

Alberto Alesina was one of the foundational pillars of political economics over many decades, and one of the most creative economists of his time. In this column, three friends of Alberto pay tribute to a man who was driven by a relentless curiosity and was a mentor and source of inspiration for innumerable students and colleagues.

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