07 May 2020

What Economic policies can be used to mitigate the impact of COVID-19?

Cédric Tille, Professor of International Economics and Head of the Bilateral Assistance and Capacity Building Programme for Central Banks in Switzerland, joins Dan Graham, Head of Communications at the Graduate Institute, for an episode of "What Matters Today", where Professor Tille answers important questions about the current global economic situation.


There are many different facets to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As countries grapple with downward spiralling stock markets, widespread unemployment and an uncertain future, one might just say that it's complicated.

"We are in a state of substantial uncertainty", Professor Tille said when discussing economic relief packages, which some governments have issued in an effort to curb growing stress on businesses and workers.

"What is important is not the amount [of the package], but the form it takes and how quickly it gets to those that need it", he noted, pointing out substantial bottlenecks people in the US have experienced trying to receive aid.

Today's economic crisis has also seen significant comparisons to that of 2008, to which the Professor Tille said, "In a way, I wish that what we have now would be like 2008, because it is actually now much worse.[...] What we are seeing now is a sudden stop of economic activity like we have never seen before."

As the world looks to the future, some temporary safety nets installed by businesses might not be as efficient if the COVID-19 pandemic does not slow soon.

In terms of economic safeguards for businesses and their employees, the Professor of International Economics explained that "it is better to be in Europe than in the US or emerging markets because the social safety net in Europe is better designed for that. [...] But the systems are really designed to handle a temporary recession".

Anything longer is another "issue that we may face", he added. 

Listen to Professor Tille's podcast on Spotify or Google Podcasts and be sure to stay tuned for more.