Cutting Edge Research on COVID-19 Economics from the University of Pennsylvania's Economics Faculty

The particular strength of our Department in Health Economics and its connection to macroeconomics and empirical microeconomics pays off. Our faculty look at all aspects of the pandemic from measurement to policy, to long run effects and to many other related issues.

Forecasts by Penn Experts

 What to Do

  • Krueger and Rios-Rull with Fed Researchers Glover and Heathcote look at the differential impact of the pandemic on young versus old, on first line workers, hedged from unemployment but in more danger from the pandemic, and second line workers, in trouble from the economic slowdown. They also assess how they favor different policies in Health versus Wealth: On the Distributional Effects of Controlling a PandemicThis paper was discussed in the New York Times.

  • Ordoñez with coatuhor Herrera explore the determination of policies to the COVID-19 challenges. They show how relative comparisons across countries induce herding when policymakers are concerned by their popularity. The induced policy contagion induces some countries to choose less efficient policies than they would in isolation.   The Political Economy of Pandemics 

  • Mendoza with co-authors Rojas, Tesar, and Zhang sees the relation of lockdowns and health care systems' saturation as the result of shocks to the subsistence level of health that is larger at higher levels of capital utilization in A Macroeconomic Model of Healthcare Saturation, Inequality & the Output-Pandemia Tradeoff. They then look at the optimal lockdown  policies in this paper.

Measurement of the Spread of COVID-19

Long Term Effects

Other Ongoing Research at Penn Econ / PIER

  • Behrman has added COVID-19 telephone surveys or other elements to a variety of projects:

    1. Impact of ante-natal pollution on birth and early-life outcomes in Guandong, China (with Xiaoying Liu and Emily Hannum).
    2. Longitudinal survey (since 1998) in Malawi (with HP Kohler and Iliana Kohler).
    3. Longitudinal survey in Chile (with Irma Elo and David Bravo).
    4. Longitudinal survey for parents of young school age children in Ghana (with Sharon Wolfe, Betta Aurino, Larry Aber).
  • Fang is studying optimal lockdown and reopening policies in SIR models. He is also looking at how politics affects the mitigation policies chosen across counties. Another of his projects involves the evolution of labor markets in China both during and after the outbreak.

Faculty Researchers

Juan Pablo Atal Jere Behrman frank diebold Fang Jesus
Dirk GIUll Victor Frank Schorfheide  Vohra

Additional COVID-19 Resources

Johns Hopkins site with real time infection data.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Coronavirus Federal Government Task Force
Pennsylvania Covid-19 Resources