M.S. in Applied Economics Program Director (MSAE), Aleksandar Tomic, moderated three leading economists in a panel discussion on June 22, 2020, to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 pandemic.

The webinar was moderated by Aleksandar (Sasha) Tomic, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Strategy, Innovation, & Technology and Director of the MSAE program. Joining Dr. Tomic were  Gokce Akin-Olcum, Senior Economist at Environmental Defense Fund,  Richard McGowan, S. J., Professor of the Practice of Economics at Boston College, and Badri Narayanan Gopalakrishnan, Consulting Economists and McKinsey and Co, and Co-Founding Partner at Infinite Sum Modelling Inc.. The focus of the webinar was the many effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the environment, state budgets, supply chain, and trade.

Here are a few takeaways these experts shared during the event:

In regards to the impacts on COVID-19 on the environment, “Climate change can be seen as a very slow motion pandemic. They both [climate change and COVID 19] are physical shocks in the economy and are really making an effect on the economy. The impacts can propagate in global life at a much faster pace.” – Gokce Akin-Olcum

“The states cannot possibly cut back services, and so how will they pay for things? Tax increases will not be a good policy right now, people are already hurting and if you are going to make them pay taxes that will be hard for the consumer. The other strategy is to issue bonds. Then you are mortgaging the future… One of the aspects that we are going to see in post-COVID-19 is that states are going to compete with one another. They always have, but now they are really going to compete for industries.” – Richard McGowan, S. J.

“In the COVID-19 trade impact, we have seen that almost 30% to 40% of the GDP losses come from trade, trade is a major bulk of the slowdown, and the reason is that in such a crisis the trade costs naturally go up because of jurisdictions, logistics, and transportation and there are policies that lead to jurisdictions in trade [export controls, import controls, and so on]. Particularly in the food sector, this is an issue.” – Badri Narayanan Gopalakrishnan

Learn more about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic by viewing the full panel discussion above. If the video doesn’t play in the player below, please click here.