Coronavirus: how are small businesses adjusting to COVID-19, targeting super-spreaders, and the CEPR “journal” on COVID economics – what I have been reading today (and yesterday)

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 now regularly share with you some interesting background articles:

An interesting article on “How Are Small Businesses Adjusting to COVID-19? Early Evidence from a Survey” One of the main findings of the paper:

“Several main themes emerge from the results. First, mass layoffs and closures have already occurred. In our sample, 43 percent of businesses are temporarily closed, and businesses have – on average – reduced their employee counts by 40 percent relative to January.”

An interesting link showing that controlling an epidemic means that one should target those in the population that generate most infections. Intuitive and I would say obvious, but it is sometimes forgotten in current discussions.

“This stupidly simple model makes the stark point that if we want to control an epidemic in a heterogeneous population, we should target the segment of the population that generates the most infections. This will often be the same segment of the population that is least at-risk for the most severe consequences of infection. This model provides the logic underlying what may seem like draconian social-distancing interventions (e.g., closing schools, canceling public gatherings).”

The Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) started the publication of a special “COVID Economics” journal containing papers with preliminary results. The journal contains many interesting articles. Here is the third issue. Highly recommended!

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