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External Event

Webinar: Macroeconomic and Health Impact of COVID: The Meeting of Two Communities

Friday, January 22, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm GMT

This event is hosted by the platform C19economics.org, is supported by Center for Global Development (as part of the International Decision Support Initiative) and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

Management of the COVID-19 outbreak has relied heavily on the contributions of two disciplines: macroeconomics and epidemiology. These contributions have been largely separate: epidemiological models of COVID have yet to include economics; conversely, the attempts to include health in macroeconomic modelling have been limited (see Eichenbaum, Rebelo and Trabandt, 2020).

There is a risk that health and economics are presented as two opposing considerations in public policy (e.g., “protecting health” vs “protecting the economy” or the “lives vs livelihoods” debates). However, the interactions between the economy and health are deep and numerous. To name a few, increasing rates of infection creates uncertainty and behavioural changes (incl fear) that lead to a decline in consumption; high rates of infection can cause a reduction of supply in services and disruptions in the economy; increasing rates of poverty and unemployment can also have direct and significant impacts on health.

To improve the usefulness of macroeconomic and epidemiological models, there is an urgent need to create a framework to combine both types of models. Traditionally, macroeconomists and epidemiologists have worked in silos, with some exceptions. In this current outbreak, Eichenbaum et al (2020) propose a framework applied to the US, which is being adapted in some LMICs (see Von Carnap et al. (2020) for an application in Uganda).

There is a risk that health and economics are presented as two opposing considerations in public policy (e.g., “protecting health” vs “protecting the economy” or the “lives vs livelihoods” debates). However, the interactions between the economy and health are deep and numerous. To name a few, increasing rates of infection creates uncertainty and behavioural changes (incl fear) that lead to a decline in consumption; high rates of infection can cause a reduction of supply in services and disruptions in the economy; increasing rates of poverty and unemployment can also have direct and significant impacts on health.

To improve the usefulness of macroeconomic and epidemiological models, there is an urgent need to create a framework to combine both types of models. Traditionally, macroeconomists and epidemiologists have worked in silos, with some exceptions. In this current outbreak, Eichenbaum et al (2020) propose a framework applied to the US, which is being adapted in some LMICs (see Von Carnap et al. (2020) for an application in Uganda).

Webinar objectives

This webinar intends to bring together those two communities to discuss the challenges of combining macroeconomic and epidemiological modelling, with a focus on LMICs. We will first discuss the work of Marcus Keogh Brown and Henning Jensen, Associate Professors at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) on the macroeconomic impact on the Pakistan economy of Covid-19 and non-pharmaceutical interventions. The presentation will be followed by a discussion from Dr Mark Blecher, South African National Treasury’s Chief Director for Health and Social Development, about the evidence needs for decision-makers planning their COVID response, and Dr Katharina Hauck, reader in health economics and deputy director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Institute for Disease and Emergency Analytics (J-IDEA), School of Public Health, Imperial College London.

Join Zoom Meeting: https://lshtm.zoom.us/j/96461862885?pwd=Rnl4NlNQUGY3SW1iZlVva2ZibTJUZz09

Meeting ID: 964 6186 2885                                                 Password: 268125