The COVID-19 pandemic has had far-reaching consequences beyond the spread of the disease itself and efforts to contain it. Business and school closures, as well as the cancellation of sporting events and festivals, have long-lasting economic ramifications. Appropriately responding to the financial impact of the pandemic relies on expert data and analysis, and UT is helping to provide that information on a local, state, and national level.
CORE-19 Panel Provides Critical Data for Tennessee Public Health and Policymakers
Matt Murray, director of the Baker Center and associate director of the Boyd Center for Business and Economic Research, teamed up with researchers in public health, economics, public policy, agriculture, veterinary medicine, and other disciplines to provide timely and evidence-based information for policymakers, industry, and the public on pressing questions regarding the global pandemic. This panel of experts provides research briefs, projection models and other information to public health officials and policymakers in Tennessee regarding COVID-19. The Coronavirus-19 Outbreak Response Experts (CORE-19) team established a website to share timely information on the pandemic and its consequences.
Associate Professor Examines Equity and Economic Impact of COVID-19 Closures
Charles Sims, associate professor of economics and director of the energy and environment program at the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, is studying different approaches to business closures and the tradeoff between equity and efficiency when responding to COVID-19.
The blanket-closure approach, where all businesses deemed non-essential close, increases the economic impact of flattening the curve but more equitably shares these impacts across many sectors in the economy. More recently, communities have turned to targeted closures of high-risk businesses such as bars, restaurants, and salons. While these targeted closures are thought to be more cost effective than blanket closures of all non-essential businesses, they may disproportionately affect women and minority communities. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, food services and drinking places employ 11 percent more women and 17 percent more minorities than other businesses.