Special Covid-19 Series, Issue #17

Autore :

Data: 16-11-2020

Tipo: Other

Tematica: Action Institute

This is the seventeenth issue of the Action Special COVID-19 Series that Action Institute is publishing to provide an overview of the novel Coronavirus pandemic, in which the effects of the virus are approached from different perspectives: from medical facts to health policy, from economic policy to macroeconomic issues, from politics to financial markets, from technology to the impact on businesses and more.

This weekly issue proposes a selection of papers and articles focused on (i) Medical Facts and (ii) Economic Policy.


“Medicine is a science of uncertainty and an art of probability.”, William Osler

The US excess mortality rate from COVID-19 is substantially worse than Europe’s” (, Janine Aron, John Muellbauer, September 29th, 2020). This column shows that when comparing excess mortality rates, a more robust way of reporting on pandemic deaths, Europe’s cumulative excess mortality rate from March to July is 28% lower than the US rate, contradicting the Trump administration’s claim that Europe’s rate is 33% higher.

Scientists warn of new coronavirus variant spreading across Europe” (Financial Times, Clive Cookson, October 29th, 2020). Researchers find that a genetic mutation originated in Spain and, then, was transmitted by returning holidaymakers. This coronavirus variant would account for the majority of the new Covid-19 cases in several countries, for example, more than 80% in the UK.

What Is the World Doing to Create a COVID-19 Vaccine?” (Council On Foreign Relations, Claire Felter, November 9th, 2020). Governments, multilateral organizations, and private firms are spending billions of dollars to achieve an effective vaccine for the new coronavirus by 2021. Tens of vaccine candidates, across more than a dozen countries, are undergoing clinical trials.


“Economists agree about economics – and that’s a science – and they disagree about economic policy because that’s a value judgment.”, Franco Modigliani

How the US coronavirus aid package has affected household spending” (, Christopher Carroll, Edmund S. Crawley, Jiri Slacalek, Matthew N. White, October 14th, 2020). The 2020 US CARES Act aimed to bolster consumer spending. This column tests the effectiveness of the Act by modelling the spending and saving behaviour of households during the COVID-19 pandemic, differentiating between the employed, temporarily unemployed and persistently unemployed.

Why The Global Economy is Recovering Faster Than Expected” (Harvard Business Review, Philipp Carlsson-Szlezak, Paul Swartz and Martin Reeves, November 3rd, 2020). The coronavirus pandemic and ensuing global lockdowns led to fears of a systemic meltdown, but the recovery in the U.S. and around the world has been stronger — and faster — than many predicted. But will it last?

A Covid-19 Vaccine Would Boost the Global Economy, but Not All at Once” (Wall Street Journal, Paul Hannon, David Harrison, November 11th, 2020). News that the Pfizer vaccine could be approved this month have boosted hopes for a quick recovery. But economists say it will take longer to heal from a historic blow to jobs, investment and businesses.

Dealing with the second wave: Subsidise, instead of ordering closures” (, Daniel Gros, November 12th, 2020). This column argues that pandemic control cannot be limited to lockdowns. Activities like providing restaurant meals or retailing increase the risk of infection and thus involve a large difference between private and social cost.


Let me remind you that credit is the lifeblood of business, the lifeblood of prices and jobs.

Herbert Hoover […]


Good health is essential to social and economical development and it empowers all of the public sectors.

World Health Organization […]


Innovation is the specific instrument of entrepreneurship. The act that endows resources with a new capacity to create wealth.

Peter Drucker […]

Human Capital

Talent is a source from which water flows constantly renewed. But this source loses its value unless it is properly used.

Ludwig Wittgenstein […]