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The Economy of Tomorrow: Recovering and Restructuring after COVID-19

Roosevelt Institute

Joseph Stiglitz

Paper  229kb pdf

Nearly nine months into the COVID-19 pandemic and accompanying recession, one thing is clear: The US economy will not have a V-shaped recovery. Despite the CARES Act, upper-income Americans continue to experience an entirely different economy than lower-income Americans. Misplaced concern over the deficit and poorly designed, broad-based policy interventions are largely to blame.

While the root cause and scale of the COVID-19 recession make it different from any the US has faced in recent memory, we can apply lessons learned from past economic crises to design effective policy for this one. Once triggered, downturns follow a familiar pattern, whereby businesses see sales shrink, firms reduce investment and lay off workers, and families limit consumption. The COVID-19 recession brings the added complications of both decreased demand for and supply of some once-routine activities, heightened uncertainty about the severity and duration of the pandemic, and acute health and economic disparities for low-wage workers—disproportionately people of color.

In The Economy of Tomorrow: Recovering and Restructuring after COVID-19, Roosevelt Chief Economist Joseph Stiglitz outlines what we know about the US economy from past crises, explains how we can apply those lessons to the ongoing COVID-19 recession, and offers policy recommendations to enable a robust and equitable recovery, including:

  • Prioritizing resources to end the pandemic;
  • Providing liquidity assistance to the businesses and individuals at greatest need;
  • Shoring up funding to state and local governments; and
  • Guaranteeing unemployment benefits to workers for as long as is necessary.

About the Author

Joseph Stiglitz
Co-President
Initiative for Policy Dialogue (IPD)

Joseph E. Stiglitz is co-President of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue, and Chairman of the Committee on Global Thought at Columbia University. He is University Professor at Columbia, teaching in its Economics Department, its Business School, and its School of International and Public Affairs. He chaired the UN Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, created in the aftermath of the financial crisis by the President of the General Assembly. He is former Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank and Chairman of President Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisors. He was awarded the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics in 2001.

Publication Information

Type Network Paper
Program -
Posted 10/28/20
Download 229kb pdf