Mary: I’m Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective. Today’s program asks if this time is different. Mike, the coronavirus is both a medical event and an economic event. Is this a unique combination having a unique impact?
Mike: Summary Answer
- Yes – in terms of scope and depth, have to go back 100 years to the worldwide virus in 1918-20 commonly called the Spanish flu
- Killed over 600,000 people in the US, and 50-100 million worldwide
- Yet, there was only a mild recession
- Reason – economy was not shut down – medical knowledge was much less than today
- Today, with quarantines and mandated closures, we are purposefully pausing the economy in order to get control of the virus.
- So, if a recession occurs – and I think it will – in many ways it is a recession mandated by medical goals
- This makes it uniquely different than all other recessions
- 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.