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Articles by Ilzetzki

COVID-19: The economic policy response

March 28, 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout hardly require an introduction. To date, it is estimated that COVID-19 has infected over half a million people worldwide and claimed over 20,000 lives.1 The virus is still on the upward sloping portion of the epi curve (Baldwin 2020), so the eventual global death toll is certain to multiply by orders of magnitude this year. Countries have taken a variety of measures to contain the spread of the virus, including full or partial lockdowns, testing, contact tracing, and case isolation. 
The economic damage is already tangible, with China’s manufacturing index and fixed investment both declining by 30% so far this year relative to December 2019. European manufacturing indices fell by similar amounts in March. Stock markets have

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The UK productivity puzzle: CFM survey

March 11, 2020

The UK has seen slow rates of productivity growth over the past decade (ONS 2020), with output per hour and real wages no higher today than they were prior to the global financial crisis. The February 2020 survey by the Centre for Macroeconomics (CFM) asked its panel of top UK economists about the causes of, and possible policy responses to, this slow growth in productivity. Respondents were first invited to pick which are the first and second most important causes of the slowdown in UK productivity growth from these options:
Human capital, including education and employee skills
(Insufficient) investment in research and development
Labour market factors
Low demand (including due to the financial crisis, austerity policies or Brexit)
Productivity mis-measurement
They were then

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