The Economic Perspective: “Government Responses to the Coronavirus”

Mary:    I’m Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at government responses to the coronavirus.  Mike, as the coronavirus persists and spreads, there are calls for government action.  What kinds of actions can the government take, and would they be effective?


Mike: Summary Answer

  • Already have had the Federal Reserve lower their key interest rate by ½ percentage point
  • But other rates already falling; cost of credit is not an issue
  • There have also been suggestions for the government to directly pump $ into the economy – say sending everyone $1000 – but if people are scared, will they spend it; and is that enough if someone has the work hours cut
  • Similarly, some say government should start big infrastructure projects – $1 trillion transportation project – yet virus likely over before could start
  • Probably best action is having government help provide testing kits, as well as help to speed the development of a vaccine
  • And last, providing public with honest information about spread and severity of the virus so people are basing decisions on accurate info
  • I’m MW



Mary: And I’m Mary Walden for the Economic Perspective, an NC State Extension program from the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.