The Economic Perspective: “The Impact of Fear on the Recovery”

Mary:  This is Mary Walden with economist MW, welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at the impact of fear on the recovery.  Mike, as some states begin opening up their economies from the required shutdowns during the coronavirus, there are questions about how fast the recovery will be.  Some say the answer lies as much in psychology as in economics.  Please explain.


Mike: Summary Answer

  • Clearly the ability of stores and workplaces to be open and operating will help stop economic decline and begin recovery
  • But to really recover, people and worker will have to feel safe about shopping and returning to their place of employment
  • This means operators of businesses will have to take steps – even if they’re not mandated – to show they have an environment safe from the virus
  • Distancing, masks, constant disinfecting, will all have to be used
  • Distancing – especially – will limit the number of customers and workers
  • Means few businesses will be able to immediately ramp up to full capacity
  • Ultimately, treatments and vaccines will be the answer
  • 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.