Response of economics to COVID-19 crisis
The COVID-19 crisis is historically a unique shock that differs from any past economic crisis. While COVID-19 vaccines and drugs have been developed and diffused, no signs are in sight of an end to the COVID-19 pandemic, with new variants emerging. The pandemic will likely to stay with us in 2022.
The COVID-19 crisis features (1) tradeoffs between health and economic activities, (2) heterogeneity of impacts by sector and (3) high uncertainties. While restrictions on outings and mobility to suppress infections bring about a decline in economic activities at least over the short term, conventional economic stimulus measures lead to an increase in infections. While past great shocks including the oil shock and the Global Financial Crisis heavily affected manufacturers, the COVID-19 crisis exerted serious impacts on the services industry where person-to-person contacts are indispensable. The COVID-19 crisis also brought about unparalleled uncertainties to firms, households, and other economic agents.
Economists throughout the world have proactively tackled the new challenge. Economic papers handling the COVID-19 pandemic have increased progressively. Numerous academic journals have published special issues covering the pandemic. In Japan, the Japanese Economic Association has created a special website for COVID-19 research papers. Its Japanese Economic Review has published two special issues focusing on the pandemic.
RIETI for its part has focused on COVID-19 research under its fifth medium-term plan launched in April 2020. As of this writing, RIETI has published some 60 discussion papers on COVID-19, and about 20 papers have already been peer-reviewed and published or scheduled to be published in academic journals.
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"Socio-Life Science and the COVID-19 Outbreak (December 2021, Springer)"
Edited by YANO Makoto, MATSUDA Fumihiko, Anavaj SAKUNTABHAI, HIROTA Shigeru
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