Will Covid-19 Raise Inequality? Evidence from Past Epidemics and Crises

Tuesday, May 26, 2020
12:30 pm – 2:00 pm EDT

We are pleased to invite you to the second webinar of the “Facing Inequality” series, hosted by the Institute for International Economic Policy. This virtual series focuses on current and emerging inequality issues in the U.S. and around the globe – especially those revealed by the current COVID-19 pandemic. It brings together historians, economists, sociologists, political scientists, and epidemiologists, within the academy and without, to present work and discuss ideas that can facilitate new interdisciplinary approaches to the problem of inequality. This is a platform for dialogue and debate. We invite you to engage with us in this series of important discussions.
The second event, “Will Covid-19 Raise Inequality? Evidence from Past Epidemics and Crises”, features Prakash Loungani and Jonathan D. Ostry. Major epidemics in this century, such as SARS and H1N1, have raised income inequality and disproportionately hurt employment prospects of people with low skills and education levels. What impacts will the COVID-19 pandemic have on inequality in the near term? And how will inequality evolve over the longer-term as governments act to mend the disruptions to globalization and unwind the build-up in their public debts? The talk will draw on the authors’ recent work (with Davide Furceri) on the distributional impacts of epidemics and their book on other drivers of inequality such as austerity and financial globalization. Discussants Lucia Rafanelli and Remi Jedwab will provide commentary from the perspectives of political science and economic history, respectively.
The “Facing Inequality” series is organized under the stewardship of IIEP Director James Foster, Oliver T. Carr, Jr. Professor of International Affairs and Professor of Economics, and IIEP Faculty Affiliate Trevor Jackson, Assistant Professor of History. The series is co-sponsored by the GW Interdisciplinary Inequality Series, co-organized by Prof. Jackson from the Department of History and Prof. Bryan Stuart from the Department of Economics.

About the Speakers:

Prakash Loungani is Assistant Director and Senior Personnel Manager in the IMF’s Independent Evaluation Office. He is a co-author of Confronting Inequality: How Societies Can Choose Inclusive Growth (Columbia University Press, 2019). Previously, he headed the Development Macroeconomics Division in the IMF’s Research Department and was co-chair of the IMF’s Jobs and Growth working group from 2011-15. He is an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University’s Carey School of Business, a member of the Research Program in Forecasting at George Washington Univeristy, and Senior Fellow at the Policy Center for the New South, a think-tank based in Rabat, Morocco.

Jonathan D. Ostry is Deputy Director of the Asia and Pacific Department at the International Monetary Fund and a Research Fellow at the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). His recent responsibilities include leading staff teams on capital account management and financial globalization issues; fiscal sustainability issues; and the nexus between income inequality and economic growth. Past positions include leading the division that produces the IMF’s flagship multilateral surveillance publication, the World Economic Outlook. He is the author of a number of books on international macro policy issues and numerous articles in scholarly journals. His most recent books include Taming the Tide of Capital Flows (MIT Press, 2017) and Confronting Inequality (Columbia University Press, 2018).

With James Foster, Lucia Rafanelli, Remi Jedwab, and Trevor Jackson

Co-sponsored by the GW Inequality Series

GW is committed to digital accessibility. If you experience a barrier that affects your ability to access content on this page, let us know via the Accessibility Feedback Form.