This issue of the IMF Research Perspective looks at the inter-connectedness of the world economic system and how diverse shocks can affect global supply chains. The articles in this issue track the way COVID-19 triggered disruptions in the supply chain and explains why trade networks are so difficult to disentangle. However, the pandemic is not the only event affecting global supply chains; cross-border spillovers of technology wars and natural disasters are other factors to consider. The overarching message from these articles is clear: there is a need for international cooperation to deal with the consequences of these shocks—whether it is ending the COVID-19 pandemic or mitigating climate change.
Where do we go from here? The Fall-Winter 2020 issue of the IMF Research Perspectives considers this question and analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The research showcased in this issue looks at the history of social unrest in the aftermaths of pandemics, discusses the inequalities of telework, places COVID and lending conditions under the microscope, and examines how economic activity has been shaped by people’s reaction to the virus and the resulting policy measures.