Social & Economic Affairs

34 posts

Productivity Growth Before and During the Pandemic

Robert J. Gordon, Hassan Sayed: A New Interpretation of Productivity Growth Dynamics in the Pre-Pandemic and Pandemic Era U.S. Economy, 1950-2022, in: NBER Working Paper Series No 30267 (July 2022), online in: Abstract The dismal decade of 2010-19 recorded the slowest productivity growth of any decade in U.S. history, only 1.1 percent per year in the business sector. Yet the pandemic appears to have created a resurgence in productivity growth with a 4.1 percent rate achieved in the four quarters of 2020. This paper provides a unified framework that explains productivity growth in both the pre-pandemic and pandemic-era U.S. […]

Sentiment alterations

Jianghao Wang, Yichun Fan, Juan Palacios, Yuchen Chai, Nicolas Guette-Jeanrenaud, Nick Obradovich, Chenghu Zhou, Siqi Zheng: Global evidence of expressed sentiment alterations during the COVID-19 pandemic, in: Nature Human Behaviour Vol. 6, Issue 3 (March 1, 2022) pp. 349-358. Abstract: “The Covid-19 pandemic has created unprecedented burdens on people’s physical health and subjective well-being. While countries worldwide have developed platforms to track the evolution of Covid-19 infections and deaths, frequent global measurements of affective states to gauge the emotional impacts of pandemic and related policy interventions remain scarce. Using 654 million geotagged social media posts in over 100 countries, covering […]

ILO Monitor: COVID-19 & the world of work. Eighth edition

International Labour Organization (ed.): ILO Monitor: COVID-19 and the world of work. Eighth edition. Updated estimates and analysis (October 27, 2021). The report gives a global overview of how countries are grappling with the recovery, eighteen months into the crisis. Based on new data, it provides a detailed picture of the different recovery trends between developed and developing countries. It also analyzes the impact of vaccination rates on labour market by region, and the distortions the COVID-19 crisis is having on productivity and enterprises.

IMF – World Economic Outlook January 2022

International Monetary Fund: World Economic Outlook Update. Rising Caseloads, A Disrupted Recovery, and Higher Inflation, January 2022. The World Economic Outlook is a report by the staff of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), usually published twice a year. It contains the IMF staff economists’ analyses of short- and medium-term developments in the world economy. The chapters provide both an overview and more detailed analysis of the world economy; they address issues affecting industrial countries, developing countries, and economies in transition to market economies; and they deal with topics of urgent current interest. Appendices, boxes, graphs, and an extensive statistical appendix […]

World Bank – Global Economic Prospects January 2022

World Bank: Global Economic Prospects, January 2022. The global recovery is set to decelerate amid diminished policy support, continued COVID-19 flare-ups, and lingering supply bottlenecks. In contrast to that in advanced economies, output in emerging market and developing economies will remain markedly below pre-pandemic trends over the forecast horizon. The outlook is clouded by various downside risks, including new COVID-19 outbreaks, the possibility of de-anchored inflation expectations, and financial stress in a context of record-high debt levels. If some countries eventually require debt restructuring, this will be more difficult to achieve than in the past. Climate change may increase commodity […]

OECD – Economic Outlook December 2021

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD): Economic Outlook (December 1, 2021) Issue 2. The global recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic is uneven and becoming imbalanced. The OECD Economic Outlook, Volume 2021 Issue 2, highlights the continued benefits of vaccinations and strong policy support for the global economy, but also points to the risks and policy challenges arising from supply constraints and rising inflation pressures. This issue includes a general assessment of the macroeconomic situation, and a chapter summarising developments and providing projections for each individual country. Coverage is provided for all OECD members as well as for selected partner […]

IMF – Fiscal Monitor October 2021

International Monetary Fund: Fiscal Monitor. Strengthening the Credibility of Public Finances, October 2021. Multilateral monitoring of fiscal developments is an essential component of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Fiscal Monitor, which has been published twice a year since 2009, captures and analyzes, among other things, the latest fiscal developments and assesses policies to put public finances on a sustainable footing.

BionTech & German economic growth

Manager Magazin: Biontech represents almost one-fifth of German economic growth (January 14, 2022). Without BionTech, German economic growth would have been significantly lower in 2021. According to an initial estimate by the Federal Statistical Office, the Mainz-based biotechnology company boosted growth by 0.5 percent, or nearly one-fifth, to a total of 2.7 percent. Sebastian Dullien, scientific director of the Kiel Institute for Macroeconomics and Business Cycle Research, speaks of a “clear biontech effect” in this context.

Interview with Sergio Bologna

Paul Simon: “Die Seeleute haben am miesten gelitten”. Interview mit Sergio Bologna [“The seafarers have suffered the worst”. Interview with Sergio Bologna], in: Jungle World 47 (25.11.2021). An interview with logistics expert and historian Sergio Bologna on the problems in container shipping. The problems in container shipping triggered by the Covid 19 pandemic shine a spotlight on the disastrous working conditions in logistics. But there is no end in sight for global supply chains. Link to the article on the homepage of Jungle World

The great cash surge

Jonathan Ashworth, Charles A. E. Goodhart: The great Covid cash surge – digitalisation hasn’t dented cash’s safe haven role, in: CEPR (Centre for Economic Policy Research) discussion papers No. 16618 (October 2021).

End of the neoliberal era?

Adam Tooze: Has Covid ended the neoliberal era?, in: The Guardian Online (September 2, 2021), online in: According to Adam Tooze, the year 2020 revealed the risks and weaknesses of the market-oriented global system as never before. For him, it gave the impression that a turning point had been reached. Link to the article on the website of The Guardian newspaper

World Happiness Report 2021

John F. Helliwell, Richard Layard, Jeffrey D. Sachs, Jan-Emmanuel De Neve (eds.): World Happiness Report 2021, New York: Sustainable Development Solutions Network (2021). The World Happiness Report 2021 focuses on the effects of COVID-19 and how people all over the world have fared.

Impact on the Italian demographic structure

Giacomo Caracciolo, Salvatore Lo Bello, Dario Pellegrino: An assessment on the potential impact of COVID-19 on the Italian demographic structure; in Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area (ed.): Questioni di Economia e Finanza (Occasional Papers) 622 (June 2021). Relative to past pandemics, the mortality effects of Covid-19 on the demographic structure are likely smaller. However, the behavioural effects of the economic crisis on the decisions to have children and to migrate may be substantial. The literature on the relationship between the economic cycle and demographics uncovers the potential of the unemployment rate to predict fertility and migrations.

Surge in cash demand

Jonathan Ashworth, Charles Goodhart: Coronavirus panic fuels a surge in cash demand, in: VOX, CEPR Policy Portal, online in:, July 17, 2020. Despite regular reports in the media over the past decade on the imminent death of cash amid rapid innovation in payment technologies, cash in circulation has actually been growing strongly in many countries. Perhaps unsurprisingly given coronavirus-related health concerns, there have recently been renewed calls to abandon cash and some observers have argued the virus will accelerate its demise.

Epidemics in modern economies

Torsten Heinrich: Epidemics in modern economies, in: arXiv:2105.02387v2 [econ.GN] (May 13, 2021). How are economies in a modern age impacted by epidemics? In what ways is economic life disrupted? How can pandemics be modeled? What can be done to mitigate and manage the danger? Does the threat of pandemics increase or decrease in the modern world? The Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of these questions and the potential of complex systems science to provide answers. This article offers a broad overview of the history of pandemics, of established facts, and of models of infection diffusion, mitigation strategies, and economic […]

Crisis politics and US farm labor

Nezahualcoyotl Xiuhtecutli, Annie Shattuck: Crisis politics and US farm labor: health justice and Florida farmworkers amid a pandemic, in: The Journal of Peasent Studies 48 (2021) No. 1, pp. 73-98, DOI: 10.1080/03066150.2020.1856089 Globally, farmworkers are among the most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout. Longstanding social and spatial inequalities allowed COVID-19 to spread unchecked, propelling a surge in farmworker activism, while the state uses the crisis to rollback worker protections.

The crisis and the food system

Jan Douwe van der Ploeg: From biomedical to politico-economic crisis: the food system in times of Covid-19, in: The Journal of Peasant Studies 47 (2020) No. 5, pp. 944-972, DOI: 10.1080/03066150.2020.1794843 Covid-19 is quickly developing into a deep, global and enduring politico-economic crisis that involves a rapid disarticulation of the production, processing, distribution and consumption of food. The badly balanced world market and the high degree of financialization of both primary agricultural production and food chains are decisive factors in this.

Post-Covid-19 Agriculture

Miguel A. Altieri, Clara I. Nicholls: Agroecology and the reconstruction of a post-COVID-19 agriculture, in: The Journal of Peasant Studies 47 (2020) No. 5, pp. 881-898, DOI:10.1080/03066150.2020.1782891. The COVID-19 crisis has created a moment where existing calls for agroecology acquire new relevance. Agroecology provides a path to reconstruct a post-COVID-19 agriculture, one that is able to avoid widespread disruptions of food supplies in the future by territorializing food production and consumption.


Pol Antràs: De-Globalisation? Global Value Chains in the Post-COVID-19 Age, in: NBER Working Paper Series, Working Paper Nr. 28115 (November 2020). This paper evaluates the extent to which the world economy has entered a phase of de-globalisation, and it offers some speculative thoughts on the future of global value chains in the post-COVID-19 age.

IMF: World Economic Outlook January 2021

International Monetary Fund (ed.): World Economic Outlook Update. Policy Support and Vaccines Expected to Lift Activity (January 2021). Policy Support and Vaccines Expected to Lift Activity From the report: “Although recent vaccine approvals have raised hopes of a turnaround in the pandemic later this year, renewed waves and new variants of the virus pose concerns for the outlook.