Data, data science and COVID-19
Day: 16 July 2020
Time: 9:30 am AEST - OTHER TIME ZONES HERE
Speakers: Anthony Goldbloom (CEO and founder of Kaggle, the world’s largest machine learning community), David Gruen (Australian Statistician and Agency Head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics), and Tara Sinclair (Associate Professor at George Washington University and Senior Fellow of the Indeed Hiring Lab)
Registration: Link here
The pace of evolution of COVID-19 has meant the need for new data and methods of analysing data more urgently than ever before. Our speakers are Anthony Goldbloom (CEO and founder of Kaggle, the world’s largest machine learning community), David Gruen (Australian Statistician and Agency Head of the Australian Bureau of Statistics), and Tara Sinclair (Associate Professor at George Washington University and Senior Fellow of the Indeed Hiring Lab). Kaggle sets challenges related to COVID-19 for the machine learning community to solve, including a challenge sponsored by the White House. The Australian Bureau of Statistics has rapidly developed new statistical products to meet critical COVID-19 information needs, and economists and policymakers are looking to private sector data, such as real-time granular data on the labour market, for timely insights in these unprecedented times. Our speakers will share their substantial experience in their critical roles being on the frontline of COVID-19 and managing data.
Checking the path towards recovery from the COVID-19 response
The paper presented in this seminar examines the impact of the behavioral changes and governments’ responses to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic using a unique dataset of daily private forecasters’ expectations on a sample of 32 emerging and advanced economies from January 1 till April 13, 2020. Enrique documents three important lessons from the data: First, there is evidence of a relation between the stringency of the policy interventions and the health outcomes consistent with slowing down the spread of the pandemic. Second, the author finds robust evidence that private forecasters have come to anticipate a sizeable contraction in economic activity followed by a check mark recovery as a result of the governments’ increasingly stringent response. The evidence suggests also that workplace restrictions have further contributed to the downturn and to the subsequent sluggish recovery—opening up the question about the costs of tighter work restrictions. Finally, the author argues inflation expectations have not changed significantly so far. Through the lens of the neoclassical growth model, these changes in macro expectations can result from the resulting work disruptions and the potential productivity slowdown from the gradual de-escalation of the confinement.
Deploying stimulus for a better world
Day: 02 July 2020
Time: 9:00 am AEST - OTHER TIME ZONES HERE
Speakers: Barbara Buchner (Climate Policy Initiative), Frank Jotzo (ANU) and Adele Morris (Brookings Institution)
Economic recovery from COVID19 will require a massive global stimulus. Join Barbara Buchner (Climate Policy Initiative), Frank Jotzo (ANU) and Adele Morris (Brookings Institution) in a discussion on how the required stimulus presents an opportunity for governments to address the pressing need for solutions to climate change, while at the same time supporting economic recovery.
Global economic impacts of COVID-19
The World Bank recently released the Global Economic Prospects Report, and the IMF will release its World Economic Outlook Report on the day of this webinar. Both focus on the economic impacts of COVID-19 on the global economy. Meanwhile, Roshen Fernando and Warwick McKibbin have updated their scenarios of the progression of the pandemic on economic outcomes. Join the panel discussion featuring Ayhan Kose of the World Bank, John Bluedorn of the IMF and Warwick McKibbin from the ANU as they share their insights into likely economic outcomes of COVID-19.
Financial uncertainty and real activity: The good, the bad, and the ugly
The paper presented in this seminar quantifies the finance uncertainty multiplier (i.e., the magnifying effect of the real impact of uncertainty shocks due to financial frictions) by relying on two historical events related to the US economy, i.e., the large jump in financial uncertainty occurred in October 1987 (which was not accompanied by a deterioration of the credit supply conditions), and the comparable jump in financial uncertainty in September 2008 (which went hand-in-hand with an increase in financial stress). Working with a VAR framework and a set-identification strategy which focuses on - but it is not limited to - these two dates, Giovanni estimates the finance uncertainty multiplier to be equal to 2, i.e., credit supply disruptions are found to double the negative output response to an uncertainty shock. The author then employs the model to estimate the overall economic cost of the COVID-19 uncertainty shock under different scenarios. The results point to the possibility of a cumulative yearly loss of industrial production as large as 31% if credit supply gets disrupted. Liquidity interventions that keep credit conditions as healthy as they were before the COVID-19 uncertainty shock are found to substantially reduce such loss.
Nowcasting the output gap
In this seminar Benjamin Wong will propose a way to directly nowcast the output gap using the Beveridge-Nelson decomposition based on a mixed-frequency Bayesian VAR. The mixed-frequency approach produces very similar estimates of the U.S. output gap to those based on a quarterly model, but it is able to provide timely updates to estimates within a quarter as higher-frequency data become available. The author finds that the output gap nowcasts are much more reliable than those for output growth, with monthly indicators for a credit risk spread, consumer sentiment, and initial claims containing particularly useful information about the output gap. An out-of-sample analysis of the COVID-19 crisis anticipates huge declines in the U.S. output gap in the first half of 2020 before quarterly real GDP is observed, with a scenario nowcast given data up to April 2020 implying an output gap of -28.8% in 2020Q2.
COVID-19 and policy choices
Day: 4 June 2020
Time: 5:15 pm AEST - OTHER TIME ZONES HERE
Speakers: Daniel Rees (Bank for International Settlements), Hilde Bjornland (BI Norwegian Business School), James Morley (University of Sydney)
Program: Link here
Video: Link here
Countries have adopted wide-ranging policy responses to the COVID-19 outbreak prompting debate about the trade-offs between economic activity, a healthy population, and individual freedoms. Daniel Rees (Bank for International Settlements), Hilde Bjornland (BI Norwegian Business School), and James Morley (University of Sydney) will share their views on the trade-offs between growth, population containment, and health in a COVID world in a panel discussion on June 4, 2020.
Testing responses through agent-based epidemiology (TRACE)
Day: 28 May 2020
Time: 9:00 am AEST - OTHER TIME ZONES HERE
Speaker: Ross Hammond, Brookings Institution, Washington DC
Additional information about the TRACE project can be found at:
Launch COVID-19 and the Macroeconomy Research Program
To celebrate the launch of the new research program “COVID-19 and the macroeconomy” in the Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis a zoom panel is planned for Tuesday, May 19, 2020. Warwick McKibbin will present his new results with Roshen Fernando on the global economic consequences of the pandemic based on new data on how the crisis is unfolding. Renee Fry-McKibbin will then Chair a panel consisting of CAMA research associates Creina Day (Australian National University), Francesco Ravazzolo (Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy), Anella Munro (Asia School of Business, Malaysia), Joaquin Vespignani (University of Tasmania) and Warwick McKibbin in a discussion of the longer-term issues going forward for the macroeconomy as the world recovers from the pandemic and economic crisis.
MMCN Webinar Series: “The Global Macroeconomic Impacts of COVID-19: Seven Scenarios”
Day: 19 May 2020
Speaker: Warwick McKibbin and Roshen Fernando
The MMCN Webinar series is being launched under the auspices of the CEPR Network on Macroeconomic Modelling and Model Comparison (MMCN) and the Macroeconomic Model Comparison Initiative supported by the IMFS at Goethe University Frankfurt and the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.