Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Writing again

As everybody tries to adapt to the coronavirus crisis (in Barcelona, staying home), I have decided to reopen my blog to better communicate with… well, anybody who cares. In the next few weeks, I expect to post the English version of an interview I published in Catalan with Branko Milanovic, and also the translation of my book review in Catalan of Piketty's last book (with a special emphasis on what he had to say about Catalonia). I will also post some notes I took for a roundtable I could finally not attend (and was canceled) in London about regulation and institutions for climate change. For the time being, here is a selection of recent writings about the economics of the current pandemic.
I especially recommend this site put up by CEPR:

-Vox/CEPR coronavirus policy portal: https://voxeu.org/debates/economics-time-covid-19.

Some prestigious economists have published short articles asking for massive public intervention both to stop the disease, to alleviate the social consequences, and to revive the economy:

-De Grauwe: https://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/ecb-needs-to-embrace-covid19-monetary-financing-by-paul-de-grauwe-2020-03?

-Mazucatto: https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/18/the-covid-19-crisis-is-a-chance-to-do-capitalism-differently?__twitter_impression=true

 -Zucman/Sáez: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/17/governments-crisis-coronavirus-business

-Marimon et al., “A Proposal for a COVID credit line”: https://voxeu.org/article/proposal-covid-credit-line

There are also very interesting articles with lessons from history:

-Coping with disasters: two centuries of international response: https://voxeu.org/article/coping-disasters-lessons-two-centuries-international-response

-Torsten Bell about previous warnings: https://amp.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/22/economists-pandemic-predictions-covid-19?CMP=share_btn_tw&__twitter_impression=true

-Previous epidemics: https://www.nber.org/wp_covid19.html

And I have spotted at least three manifestos by economists and social scientists asking for a variety of instruments of public intervention:

-Manifesto in favor of Eurobonds: http://www.newpoliticaleconomyeurope.eu/news/body,488994,en.html

-Manifesto for a Universal Basic Income: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1_hCGectgHT-aY4xQnhte5ZpesMqZ6-l2Eo5c33iee94/mobilebasic

-US economists’ manifesto: http://www.columbia.edu/~wk2110/Corona/Statement.html

All these contributions have a variety of ideas. Not all of them will survive, in a climate of high uncertainty. But they have something in common: massive public intervention will be needed, at a very large scale. 
Stay safe, and be in touch.


  1. Welcome back to Francesc's splendid blog. I've missed it!

    The contributions and resources listed look very useful. I hope that they encourage debate.

    Best wishes to Francesc and all his readers.

    Jon Stern

  2. Congratulations for you return. Un gran abrazo desde Santiago de Chile

    1. Un fuerte abrazo virtual, Pedro, no había visto tu comentario hasta ahora porque me había olvidado dónde estaban...