From Vox: A new paper finds stimulus checks, small business aid, and “reopening” can’t rescue the economy. Real-time data on how the economy responded to Covid-19 suggests the problem is the disease itself.
The picture that emerges in a new working paper based on the economists’ findings is of an economy frozen in place. Simply declaring the economy “reopened” does not seem to do anything to spur high-income people to spend more, and it’s not clear that anything can until the real threat passes.
The tool, the Opportunity Insights Economic Tracker, was launched by the Harvard-based Opportunity Insights group. The research was led by Raj Chetty, Nathaniel Hendren, John N. Friedman, and Michael Stepner, and the tool was assembled by a team of 39 collaborators. It aims to provide a service that has never existed before, but is badly needed during the pandemic: a real-time, day-by-day, ZIP-code-by-ZIP-code snapshot of how the American economy is performing.