Joshua Gans: The Pandemic Information Gap – The Brutal Economics of COVID-19

Note: 6 pm (CET, Central European Time) / 12 noon (EST, Eastern Standard Time)

In our new event series #ZEWBookTalk we invite leading economists from Germany and abroad to ZEW Mannheim to present their current book releases. Each event includes a controversial exchange about the core theses of these books, which mainly focus on economic policy issues. With this event series, ZEW offers readers both exclusive access to selected authors as well as a lively exchange on the presented book contents. The book presentations are held either in German or English.

Economist Joshua Gans, mentored by this year’s Nobel Prize Winner Paul Milgrom, provides us with a guide to the pandemic economy: An essential reading about the long-term implications of the current Corona crisis – stating that solving the information problem should be at the core of global pandemic response.

In his book, Gans steps back from the short-term chaos to take a clear and systematic look at how economic choices are being made in response to COVID-19. He shows that containing the virus and pausing the economy – without letting businesses fail and people lose their jobs – are the necessary first steps. In his opinion, the COVID-19 pandemic is essentially an information problem: This is the enlightening and provocative idea at the heart of Gans‘ book. Thus, if we simply solve the information problem, are we able to defeat the virus?

This question among others Joshua Gans is happy to discuss with Prof. Achim Wambach of the ZEW by outlining the phases of the pandemic economy and and explaining how to protect ourselves from future pandemics. Additionally, he will check policy tools that might aid an economic recovery, distinguishing between economic losses during a pandemic and a recession.

We are living in a moment of unprecedented crisis. Especially against the background of the second corona wave in Europe and the still strongly increasing numbers in the USA, Gans' book is gaining increasing importance.

In exchange with ZEW’s president Prof. Achim Wambach, Ph.D (@AchimWambach)



#ZEWBookTalk with Joshua Gans


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