Coronavirus: Group testing, the OECD calls for a global Marshall Plan, and U.S. jobless claims – what I have been reading today

Since I started to carefully study the coronavirus and its associated health and economic consequences in January 2020, I have been reading many news, research articles, and blog posts. I got more and more concerned and I hope that the situation will improve as soon as possible. Let me regularly share with you some interesting background articles:

  1. Christian Gollier from the Toulouse School of Economics has an interesting proposal regarding “optimal group testing” to enable more economic activity than at the moment while preserving the health of the population at the same time. While further reflections are surely needed (could it be implemented in practise?), it is a promising idea:

2. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Developemnt (OECD) has called for a “global Marshall Plan” to counteract the pandemic’s effects. The OECD Secretary General Angel Gurría urges global leaders to act immediately, to (I cite from the OECD):

  • “Recapitalise health and epidemiological systems;
  • Mobilise all macro-economic levers: monetary, fiscal, and structural policies;
  • Lift existing trade restrictions especially on much needed medical supplies;
  • Provide support to vulnerable developing and low-income countries;
  • Share and implement best practices to support workers and all individuals, employed and unemployed – particularly the most vulnerable;
  • Keep businesses afloat, particularly small and medium-sized firms, with special support packages in hardest hit sectors such as tourism.”

What I cited above and more can be found here:

3. According to data released by the labor department today (April 2), the number of initial jobless claims jumped to 6,6 million in the week ending March 28. The situation on the U.S. labor market is really bad.

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