Four prominent economists and faculty members of Boston College’s Master of Science in Applied Economics (MSAE) program gathered on May 14, 2020, to discuss the impact on our global economy as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic for an audience of 140 attendees from 14 countries and 21 US states.

The live webinar was moderated by Aleksandar Tomic, Ph.D., Associate Dean for Strategy, Innovation, & Technology and Director of the MSAE program. Joining Dr. Tomic were Lawrence Fulton, Associate Professor, and Undergraduate Programs Director at Texas State University, Diana Bowser, Associate Professor, Brandeis University, Heller School for Social Policy and Management and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Ataman Ozyildirim, Senior Director, Economics and Global Research Chair at The Conference Board, and Can Erbil, Professor of the Practice of Economics at Boston College.  All four are faculty members in Boston College’s Master of Science in Applied Economics program.

During the webinar, panelists addressed many pressing issues facing the global economy as a result of the pandemic. Specific topics covered included health economics, the modeling of COVID-19 cases and hospital demand, and forecasting for the global economy.

Here are a few takeaways these experts shared during the event:

“Some countries that came out early and put in strong public health and social distancing measures seem to be the ones that are containing the spread, and then have less impact on their health systems – which we would measure in terms of the number of deaths per population size.” – Diana Bowser, Sc.D., M.P.H.

“When we get data from other countries that data may be poorly reported, incomplete, or just inaccurate. So trying to use that for our own models is difficult at best. That becomes another issue with forecasting, and because COVID-19 is so new, we have very limited experience with it.” – Lawrence (Larry) Fulton, Ph.D., M.H.A., M.M.A.S., M.S.

“We’re going to end up seeing much more innovation. So, in the longer run, with all [this innovation and] these positive impacts, we might end up with a more positive trajectory for economies around the world.” – Ataman Ozyildirim, Ph.D., M.A.

Consumers are building new habits. They had the time to reflect; they had their time to think. I’m hearing from my colleagues that they are now ashamed that they have so many clothes. That they have so many things. They’re starting to question; do we really need this? Is this really necessary? These are going to really change the behavior of the economic agents.” – Can Erbil, Ph.D., M.A.

Learn more about the multiple dimensions of the COVID-19 pandemic by viewing the full panel discussion above. If the video doesn’t play in the player below, please click here.