Tracking the COVID-19 Economy in Real Time
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 below.
Five NBER working papers distributed this week examine the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic or analyze policy responses to it. Two studies describe how venture capital investors (27824) and small- and medium-sized businesses (27833) have been affected by the pandemic. Another uses analysts’ forecasts of corporate earnings to estimate how a future vaccine is expected to impact corporate profits (27829), while a fourth study investigates the impact of increasing global inter-connectedness on the likelihood and severity of pandemics (27840). The final study analyzes how the labor market effects of the pandemic have varied across occupations (27841).
More than 250 NBER working papers have presented pandemic-related research. These papers are open access and have been collected for easy reference. Like all NBER papers, they are circulated for discussion and comment, and have not been peer-reviewed. View them in reverse chronological order or by topic area.