READING LIST

The Covid-19 Economy

Social Distancing Laws Cause Only Small Losses of Economic Activity: Scandinavian Countries as a Case Study

A new study compares the economic performance of Sweden, which avoided a government-mandated shutdown and allowed businesses to operate freely during the Covid-19 pandemic, and the neighboring Denmark, which instituted sweeping social distancing laws. Its findings show...

The Persuasive Effect of Fox News: How Increases in Fox News Viewership Reduced Compliance With Social Distancing Guidelines

Using zip-code level data on Fox News viewership and individual cellphone movement data, a recent study finds that increasing the local viewership of Fox News caused less compliance with social distancing behavior during the first few months...

Tailoring Lockdowns for Developing Countries

The Covid-19 pandemic has decimated livelihoods in developing nations, and coronavirus-related deaths are rising in Africa and South Asia at an alarming rate. How should developing countries combat the spread of Covid-19? A new study suggests that...

Lifting Lockdown Measures Won’t Bring Back Lost Jobs, New Study Suggests

A new paper examines data on local outbreaks in South Korea and finds that even in the absence of lockdowns, an increase in confirmed infections of 1 per 1,000 people caused a 2-3 percent decline in local...

Why Social Distancing Measures Seem Less Effective in the US

Guidelines assume that the less people move around, the less likely they are to be in contact. However, phone location data show that in March and April people moved less, but still gathered in smaller—and more dangerous—places,...

The Childcare Barriers to Putting America Back to Work

Substantial fractions of the US labor force have children at home and will likely face obstacles in returning to work if childcare options remain closed. Under a policy where young workers return to work while schools remain closed,...

The Paycheck Protection Program, Meant to Prevent Mass Layoffs, Missed Its Target

A new study shows that CARES Act funds to support small companies and prevent mass layoffs did not flow to areas more adversely affected by the pandemic. For example, 15 percent of establishments in the regions most...

How Are Americans Coping With the Covid-19 Crisis? 7 Key Findings From a Household Survey

New research from the Rustandy Center and the Poverty Lab at the University of Chicago finds that lower-income Americans, especially women, were more likely to lose their income in the first month of the crisis. Low-income households...

How Inequality Hurts the Economy and Complicates Policy Responses to the Pandemic

In the years leading up to the pandemic, rising inequality created a saving glut of the rich which pushed down interest rates and fueled a large rise in government and household debt. But with interest rates now...

Financial Trust Index, Covid-Edition: The CDC Is the Most Trusted Institution in America

A special wave of the Booth/Kellogg Financial Trust Index shows a high level of compliance with social distancing guidelines and stay-at-home orders. Approximately 45 percent of respondents believe that the cost of the lockdown is higher than the potential...