Video Vox

Monica Martinez-Bravo 04 May 2021

Mass vaccination programmes, and the problems of trust surrounding them, have been brought sharply into focus by COVID-19. In July 2011, the Pakistani public learnt that the CIA had used a vaccination campaign as cover to capture Osama Bin Laden. The Taliban leveraged on this information and launched an anti-vaccine propaganda campaign to discredit vaccines and vaccination workers. Monica Martinez-Bravo tells Tim Phillips about her research into the long-term effects of this episode on vaccination behaviour in Pakistan.

Gabriel Zucman 20 April 2021

Tim Phillips (CEPR) talks with Gabriel Zucman (UC Berkeley), co-author of the proposal 'A Wealth Tax on Corporations’ Stock', presented during the online policy discussion "Tackling the Inequality Effects of Covid – and How to Pay for It" at the Spring 2021 Economic Policy Panel Meeting.For more information and to download Gabriel's paper, visit the Economic Policy website https://www.economic-policy.org/73rd-economic-policy-panel/wealth-tax-on-giant-corporations/ 

Christian Gollier 13 April 2021

Christian Gollier talks to Tim Phillips about vaccine rollout with regard to France, where modelling suggests a doubling of the speed of vaccination achieved in March could reduce deaths in 2021 by a third, while the presence of senior anti-vaxxers may imply around 5,000 additional deaths among the senior pro-vaxxer population (based on 30% of the population refusing the vaccine). Vaccine nationalism is estimated to increase the global death toll by 20%.

You can download the paper here: Gollier, C (2021), “The welfare cost of vaccine misallocation, delays and nationalism”, Covid Economics 74: 1-24 https://cepr.online/CE74

Colombe Ladreit 06 April 2021

Colombe Ladreit (Bocconi University) talks to Tim Phillips about her research with Laurence Boone that finds that government restrictions affected mobility in advanced OECD economies much more than fears of COVID-19 infection. This effect is more visible during the first wave than during the second.

Coen Teulings 30 March 2021

School closures have been a globally used strategy in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Coen Teulings talks to Tim Phillips about a SIR (Susceptibles-Infected-Recovered) model for the Netherlands, where the recent closure of primary and secondary schools is shown to be counter-productive (as it increases future vulnerability to infection) and hard to reverse (since the increased vulnerability demands continuation). Behavioural economics explains why decision making and the public debate are so distorted, to the detriment of youngsters.

The business restrictions introduced during the Covid-19 pandemic greatly affected the labour market. However, quantifying their costs is not trivial as local policies affect neighbouring areas through spillovers. Gabriele Guaitoli and Todor Tochev of Warwick University tell Tim Phillips about their work which exploits the US local variation in restrictions and commuting, to estimate the causal direct and spillover impacts of lockdowns. Spillovers alone account for 10-15% of U.S. job losses.

Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh 16 March 2021

Stijn Van Nieuwerburgh talks to Tim Phillips about research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on real estate markets in the US, where sizable enough changes in rent and price gradients have been documented to suggest that urban residents are fleeing city centres for the suburbs. Limits placed on city amenities combined with expanding opportunities to work from home have reduced the premium on urban living.

Catherine Porter 09 March 2021

Catherine Porter (Lancaster University) talks to Tim Phillips about her work on how the lives of adolescents in Low- and Middle- Income countries have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and related economic downturn, using data from a large-scale phone survey conducted in four countries. Relative gains in the well-being of young people over the last twenty years or so have been lost in many cases and it is likely that the consequences of education dropout and links to potential mental health issues may mean the effects are long lasting in the absence of interventions to support young people’s wellbeing and livelihoods.
The paper behind this research is available for free download:
Young Lives, interrupted: Short-term Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Adolescents in Low- and Middle-Income Countries by Marta Favara, Richard Freund, Catherine Porter, Alan Sánchez, Douglas Scott (CEPR Covid Economics Papers, 04/02/2021 https://cepr.org/sites/default/files/CovidEconomics67.pdf )

Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe 08 March 2021

Stephanie Schmitt Grohé explains that if interest rates are low and saving rates are high, economies get stuck in a liquidity trap. If interest rates can’t fall any further, a central bank has no tool to stimulate the economy. Monetary policy becomes ineffective. “In a liquidity trap, monetary policy is constrained. There’s no policy space left,” explains Schmitt-Grohé. “Inflation is below target, and expected inflation, five or ten years out, is also below target.” Schmitt-Grohé says that inflationary expectations are “unanchored.” People don’t believe that the central bank will be able to meet the inflation target anytime soon and take it that the new normal is a world with inflation lower than the central banks’ commitment.

Stephanie Schmitt-Grohe 08 March 2021

One of Stephanie Schmitt Grohé's research areas is record-low interest rates and low inflation over a long period of time. While too high levels of inflation are undesirable, Schmitt-Grohé explains that moderate inflation is a sign of a healthy economy as it, in multiple dimensions, aids the growth of an economy. Unfortunately, though, many countries have been undershooting their inflation target for years, which may impact the public opinion on central banks’ ability to steer the economy.

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