The COVID-19 pandemic has presented the United States with a set of unique public health and economic challenges. Economically, the crisis has negatively affected businesses, the labor market, and households. In this set of 10 facts, Wendy Edelberg, Kristen Broady, Lauren Bauer, and Jimmy O’Donnell assess the extent of these economic damages and provide an overview of existing policy interventions.
The COVID-19 pandemic poses an existential threat to small businesses, with more than 400,000 lost since the crisis began. Many small businesses are financially fragile and not equipped to weather a prolonged period of substantially reduced revenues. In this proposal, Steven Hamilton of The George Washington University calls for a significant expansion of refundable tax credits to help support small businesses through this crisis.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a disproportionate toll on Black Americans—yet these unequal outcomes are not novel challenges. Bradley Hardy and Trevon Logan outline several pre-pandemic conditions that have impeded Black Americans’ economic security and increased their vulnerability to the current crisis.
In this blog post, Lauren Bauer, Abigail Pitts, Krista Ruffini, and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach find that Pandemic EBT reduced food hardship experienced by low-income families with children and lifted at least 2.7-3.9 million children out of hunger.
The COVID-19 public health crisis, the economic shock triggered by the pandemic, and public policy, business, and individual responses to the pandemic together have provoked the sharpest and fastest economic downturn in U.S. history. Wendy Edelberg and Jay Shambaugh discuss how the current crisis fits into historic context and what will be the long-lasting economic consequences.
David Autor and Elisabeth Reynolds ask whether the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the conventional wisdom about automation and inequality in the United States over the past four decades. They make four projections about a rapidly automating post-COVID-19 economy: increasing telework, city de-densification, large-firm consolidation, and forced automation, all of which have significant, negative consequences for low wage workers and economic inequality.