The socio-economic consequences of the pandemic, a GROWINPRO conference

The event, held on December 2, 2020, presented the latest research outputs developed by the consortium developing analyses and policy guidelines to tackle the Covid-19 crisis

On 2nd December 2020 GROWINPRO project organised a major conference dedicated to the analyses of the socio-economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and to the policy tools that governments need in order to address them.

The conference drew from the research outputs developed by the consortium in the last months and featured analysis on several aspects of the pandemic, from the consequences of lockdown and of the “home-working” to the economic implications of virus-containment policies. The event aimed at improving our understanding of the many interactions undergoing between collective safety, national health systems and socio-economic well-being.

The COVID-19 pandemic has proved to be more than a health crisis. In fact, in many countries the pandemic is widening and deepening existing social and economic inequalities.

“While the measures taken by governments to tackle the crisis could have been the opportunity to collectively question the current regime of production and appropriation, exclusion and marketization characterizing this phase of unjust rentified capitalism, the route taken so far has focused on pervasive forms of social control and on the perpetuation of a false dichotomy between economic and health security”, highlighted GROWINPRO’s Giovanni Dosi, presenting the paper “Unequal societies in usual times, unjust societies in pandemic ones”.

The paper found that the economic damage, arising from the lockdown, unevenly hits the population, with low-income individuals more harshly affected than high-income ones.

The characteristics of the “representative lockdown victim” are being a woman, of color, with children, living in a peripheral neighbourhood, possibly in a less than 60 square meter apartment.

Researchers from the University of Bielefeld in Germany used agent-based models to investigate what are the epidemic and economic implications of different types of lock-down policies, while OFCE Sciences-Po researchers analysed the economic consequences of lockdowns from a sectoral and regional perspective.

A paper authored by Sant’Anna School for Advanced Studies researchers and recently published by the IMF, focused on the European fiscal response to the pandemic. It found that the COVID-19 pandemic has produced an asymmetric shock in the EU and given this, the EU has an incentive to provide some forms of risk sharing in response to increased sovereign risk. “The larger the resources that are needed at a national level, the larger the desirability of further fiscal integration”, concluded Andrea Roventini, GROWINPRO’s principal investigator.

Mariana Mazzucato, director of the Institute for Innovation and Public Purpose (University College London), highlighted that with a mission-oriented approach, driven by a challenge-led growth, governments have the chance of building back much better post COVID-19.

The design of a sustainable agenda to tackle the new emerging issues was addressed in a final round-table – “Which policies for which interests? Science, health and socio-economic pathways for sustainable societies” – with members of the advisory board of GROWINPRO and of the civil society.

The round-table stressed the need for a strategic policy intervention to address gender disparity and social spending in childcare services. Progressive fiscal measures, with a primary role for healthcare and education have been repeatedly advocated as urgent actions to tackle exploding inequalities.

Download here the detailed program of the event

Check here the full recording of the conference

Download the slides of the conference presentations: