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9th July, 2020

COVID-19 and the Economy: Looking Back and Thinking Ahead

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Event Details

9th July, 2020
16:00 - 17:30

As everyone knows, COVID-19 has brought to the surface how a public health crisis quickly becomes an economic one.

While much of the media spotlight has fallen on the very important work being carried by researchers in medicine, epidemiology and public health, economists have also been busy studying and engaging in public debate about the economic fallout of the pandemic. City’s own Department of Economics has not lagged behind in this effort.

The event will enable members of the wider university community to discuss and debate the economic aspects of COVID with economic experts from the department as well as from outside institutions. This event is intended to be a prototype for what we hope will evolve into an irregular series in which City’s economists and their affiliates periodically engage in online discussion of key social issues with their non-economist colleagues in SASS and other Schools.

The discussion will be moderated by Saqib Jafarey, City, University of London.


Mireia Jofre-Bonet is a health economist and currently the Head of Research, Office of Health Economics. Until 2019, she was Professor of Economics at City and continues to maintain close ties with this institution. Mireia has published extensively on topics related to health economics and the pharmaceutical industry. In her opening remarks she will bring up the impact of COVID on chronic diseases, on the implications of greater reliance of digital health technologies and on the separation of R&D in healthcare from sales and distribution.

Aditya Goenka is Professor of Economics at the University of Birmingham. He has been working on the interaction of infectious diseases and the economy. He is co-editing a special issue of Journal of Mathematical Economics on economics of pandemics and emerging diseases. He has recently been appointed to a Cabinet Office & FCO committee advising on responses to Covid-19. Aditya will talk about the trade-off between health and wealth.

Alice Mesnard is a development economist and Reader of Economics at City. Among her contributions to this field, she has studied the links between migration and health risks. This has led her to investigate unexpected effects of quarantine measures as observed following the outbreaks of SARS, Ebola and Covid-19. Alice will discuss an app that she is helping develop that will help people move about safely during pandemics.

Michael Ben-Gad is Professor of Economics at City. He is a macroeconomist who has worked extensively on issues related to fiscal policy; in particular the impact of immigration on the public debt. From 2014 to 2016, Michael served on the US National Academy of Sciences panel on the economic and fiscal consequences of immigration. He will be talking about the fiscal consequences of the current pandemic.

Sotiris Georganas is Reader of Economics at City. His background is in experimental economics, bounded rationality and applied game theory. He is particularly interested in finding coherent explanations for observed, often incoherent, behaviour, from how taxi apps affect drivers’ conduct to the rise of populism and distrust of experts in Western societies. Sotiris will discuss cross-country and cultural differences in how people modified their individual mobility during lockdown.

Giulia Faggio is a Senior Lecturer in Economics at City and a Research Affiliate at the Centre for Economic Performance at LSE. She is an applied micro-economist with research interests in urban economics, public economics and local economic development. She will be talking about a forecasting exercise that she has collaborated on that predicts the end of the first phase of the Covid-19 epidemic in the UK.

Saqib Jafarey will moderate the discussion. He is Professor of Economics and People and Culture Lead at City’s Department of Economics. He is currently working with researchers and practitioners in South Asia in studying how COVID has affected livelihoods of communities that were already subject to the ravages of climate change and conflict.

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