COVID’s long-term economic impact

December 8, 2020

By Aaron Orlowski

COVID-19’s disastrous impacts are obvious: a quarter million deaths in the U.S., millions of jobs lost and a financial downturn that prompted a $2 trillion economic stimulus. These impacts are front and center in the public consciousness, especially as people mourn lost loved ones and worry about how lost wages threaten their ability to pay rent.

But what about two, three or four decades down the line? What will be the long-lasting effects of the pandemic on individuals’ health and finances — and the economy as a whole?

Vellore Arthi, an assistant professor of economics at UCI, has examined the long-term health and economic consequences of previous pandemics and financial crises, including the Black Death of the 14th century, the 1918 influenza pandemic and the Great Depression of the 1930s. In this episode of the UCI Podcast, Arthi discusses what these previous pandemics and downturns can teach us about today’s crisis — and how we can prevent the worst results.