Raj Chetty addresses the economic impacts of COVID-19 based on evidence from a new public database built using private sector data
The speed and geographic variation of the COVID-19 economic decline has placed a premium on higher-frequency information, and on more disaggregate data on economic activity in different locations, than most economic surveys provide. Raj Chetty, John Friedman, Nathan Hendren, Michael Stepner, and the Opportunity Insights Team have combined information from a range of private-sector sources to develop daily, location-specific measures of economic activity (27431). They find that low-wage workers were more likely to become unemployed as a result of the pandemic, that spending by low-income households has rebounded faster than that of their high-income counterparts, and that the Payroll Protection Program had only a modest impact on employment. Chetty summarizes these findings in the short video above.