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Carrot and stick: Economic support and stringency policies in response to COVID-19

Vincenzo Alfano, Salvatore Ercolano and Mauro Pinto

Evaluation and Program Planning, 2022, vol. 94, issue C

Abstract: To address the economic losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, countries have implemented, together with policies aimed at stopping the spread of the virus, a mixture of fiscal and monetary measures. This work investigates the effect of containment policies and economic support measures on economic growth in the short run, investigating a time window of six quarters in a cross country perspective. Our results confirm the existence of a negative effect of stringency measures on GDP; we also detect a positive effect from economic support measures. Moreover, looking at the interaction between these two kinds of interventions, our findings suggest that up to a relatively low level of stringency policies, economic support measures are able to positively counterbalance the negative impact of containment and closure policies. When the level of closures became more severe, however, the economic support measures that countries adopt are not able to completely recoup, in the short run, the economic losses due to stringency policies. Results suggest that in order to have a positive net effect, policymakers should take into account the level of stringency measures implemented before investing in economic support.

Keywords: COVID-19; Economic support; Stringency measures (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: H10 H12 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2022.102129

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