Fourth Economy - Assessing COVID Policies

Team: Olumayowa Idowu, Sam Kusic, Dorcas Munoko and Yanhao Quan

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, state and local leaders have been trying to reconcile a considerable dilemma: impose stringent public health measures at the expense of the economy or move to preserve jobs at the expense of public health. And with no answer satisfactory to a highly divided public, the result has been a patchwork of inconsistent policy responses to the pandemic’s social and economic problems, such as unemployment and labor shortages, healthcare access, and educational disruptions.

There are, of course, strong opinions and deep disagreement on which policies have been more, or less, effective, but little in the way of empirical evidence. We hope to address that problem.  

Tapping a wealth of data that has been collected during the pandemic, we will explore the regional impacts of COVID-19 policy responses on employment and health. We'll collaborate with policy experts at Fourth Economy to examine how the substance and timing of state policy actions affected outcomes and attempt to draw some conclusions on what has and hasn’t been effective.