Where do we go from here? That is the question on everyone’s mind, as we hopefully approach the closing stretch of the worst pandemic in a century, the most disruptive event that most people have experienced in their lifetimes. But we cannot know where we are going without a deeper insight into where we stand and how we got here. The greatest contribution that economic research can make right now is to analyze the impact of the pandemic and cast light on its shadows, so that the paths, both behind and ahead of us, begin to emerge. There is no darkness but ignorance.
John Maynard Keynes said that an economist’s calling is to study the present in light of the past for the purpose of the future. The researchers whose work is showcased here have taken up that calling. Whether by looking at the history of social unrest in the aftermath of pandemics, casting our eyes on the inequalities of telework, putting COVID’s infection of banks under the microscope, or examining how economic activity has been shaped by people’s reaction to the virus and to the policy measures to contain it, these researchers’ torches help light our path. ~Itai Agur
COVER, DESIGN, AND LAYOUT
IMF CSF Creative Solutions Division
Andrea F. Presbitero
IMF Research Perspectives—the IMF online bulletin with news on research—is a biannual publication in English and is available exclusively online free of charge.
The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent those of the IMF or IMF policy. Material from this publication may be reprinted with proper attribution.