Special Covid-19 Series, Issue #3

Autore :

Data: 25-03-2020

Tipo: Other

Tematica: Action Institute

This is a series of Specials to provide an overview of the COVID-19 pandemic, approaching it 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.


In this third issue you find a selection of papers and articles in three areas: (i) Politics, Institutions and International Policy, (ii) Economic Policy and (iii) Health Policy.


“Just because you do not take an interest in politics, it doesn’t mean that politics won’t take an interest in you.”, Pericles.


 “Nationalism is a side effect of Coronavirus” (Financial Times, Gideon Rachman, 23rd March 2020). The article lists the reasons why after the pandemic we will not return to the globalized world we knew before, but instead to a renewed nationalism.

The Coronavirus could reshape global order” (Foreign Affairs, Kurt M. Campbell and Rush Doshi, 18th March 2020). The author, looking at the long term, analyses the possibility that after the pandemic China will be able to take the position of the United States as the first world power.

 “The search for trust in a divided eurozone” (Financial Times, Mehreen Khan, 20th March 2020). The article argues how the Coronavirus emergency has shown the cracks between Northern and Southern European countries, fueling their divisions, revealing a fundamental truth: the lack of trust.

 “The virus means the big state is back” (The Economist, 21st March 2020). The author, having traced the most important moments in the economic history of the United Kingdom, shows how Coronavirus will impact on English economy, changing Boris Johnson’s initial plans for the post-Brexit period.


“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 Coronavirus changed everything about economic policy” (The Wall Street Journal, Jon Sindreu, 20th March). The author shows there is a widespread consensus among policy makers on using an expansionary fiscal policy to offset the economic effects created by Coronavirus.

 “COVID-19: governments must avoid creating additional uncertainty” (, Henrik Müller, 14th March 2020). The author discusses the costs of hesitation at the time of the Coronavirus, arguing that economic uncertainty stems more from the policy response to the virus than from the epidemic itself.

 “Governments are spending big to keep the world economy from getting dangerously sick” (The Economist, 19th March 2020). The article shows how the Coronavirus crisis will hit global economies, stating that it’s time to implement vigorous fiscal measures to protect firms and provide liquidity to the system.

 “We need tax breaks and direct grants to sectors hit by pandemic” (Financial Times, Adair Turner, 19th March 2020). The author explains that if liquidity shortage can be addressed by the central banks, there are some sectors like airlines or restaurants that can be recovered only by a direct fiscal expansion. Sector specific measures first, then structural investments are what needed.

 “A proposal for a negative SME tax” (Voxeu, Thomas Drechsel, Sebnem Kalemli-Ozcan, 24th March 2020). The article shows how the usual expansionary fiscal policy targeting demand may be ineffective because of the characteristics of this new economic crisis. Therefore, authors suggest the implementation of a negative lump sum tax to give liquidity directly to SMEs.


“In Public Health, honesty is worth a lot more than hope.”, The Economist.


 “Responding to Covid-19 – A Once-in-a-Century Pandemic?” (New England Journal of Medicine, Bill Gates, 28th February 2020). Bill Gates asks two important questions – how to stop the pandemic and how to prevent it from happening again – arguing the importance of preventing such crises.

 “Facing Covid-19 in Italy – Ethics, Logistics, and Therapeutics on the Epidemic’s Front Line” (New England Journal of Medicine, Lisa Rosenbaum, 18th March 2020). Through the story of three Italian doctors, the author describes the Italian health situation and how difficult triage choices are being made. Only with transparency and inclusivity public trust can be achieved.

 “Fair Allocation of Scarce Medical Resources in the Time of Covid-19” (New England Journal of Medicine, Ezekiel J. Emanuel, 23rd March 2020). After a general analysis of the spread of the virus, the author discusses an important question: how can medical resources be distributed fairly during the Covid-19 pandemic?

At the Epicenter of the Covid-19 Pandemic and Humanitarian Crises in Italy: Changing Perspectives on Preparation and Mitigation” (NEJM Catalyst, 21st March 2020). The author explains how, in a pandemic, attention must focus not only on the patient itself, but on the entire community affected by the virus, widening the range of action and taking into account prevention policies.


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 […]