Archive for the ‘Coronavirus’ Tag

Mask Communication   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/08/07/900273012/mask-communication

This podcast uses behavioral economics to analyze the reasons why people may refuse to wear masks. Economists believe when these individuals feel external constraints on their freedoms, they feel even less inclined to wear a mask. Behavioral economists discuss nudges/incentives that could be effective in this situation.

Original Air Date: August 7, 2020

Length: 26 minutes 26 seconds

Discussion Prompt: What are some other incentives you can think of that would influence more widespread mask wearing?

Coronavirus and The Gig Economy   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/04/07/829264795/coronavirus-and-the-gig-economy

Delivery and service workers are considered essential right now. Without them, the economy would likely be in even more trouble than it already is. That being said, they are paid a very low wage, and some are not even being provided with adequate protection such as masks and gloves.

Original Air Date: April 7, 2020

Length: 9 minutes 56 seconds

Discussion Prompt: With the current increased demand for Instacart and other grocery delivery services, do you think demand will stay high after the pandemic? Use economic thinking to analyze what you think is happening in the market now. How do you think will this market change once the pandemic ends?

Three Ideas to Fight the Recession   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.npr.org/2020/04/01/825639315/three-ideas-to-fight-the-recession

Many economists believe the stimulus provided in the CARES Act may end up not being enough to combat the current economic downturn. Economists are suggesting three things: using automatic triggers, such as a rise in the unemployment rate, to trigger future payments by the government; allowing individuals to receive their money through mobile apps such as Venmo; and allowing small businesses to refinance existing debt.

Original Air Date: April 1, 2020

Length: 9 minutes 20 seconds

Written Assignment Prompt: Discuss the pros and cons of the ideas discussed in this podcast. Which, if any, do you think will have the best impact on the economy? What ideas can you come up with that may help combat the effects of this recession?

‘Saving The Economy Versus Saving Lives’: An Ethicist and Economist Consider a Coronavirus Question   Leave a comment

Link: https://www.wbur.org/onpoint/2020/04/01/economist-ethicist-coronavirus

This podcast discusses how part of the economic solution could actually save lives by providing assistance to the healthcare system. Large scale randomized testing may be critical in order to acquire more accurate data on the spread of the virus. In addition, they discuss the importance of complete transparency with government agents.

Original Air Date: April 1, 2020

Length: 47 minutes 9 seconds

Discussion Prompt: What is the idea at the root of this framing of the question as a tradeoff between saving the economy versus saving lives? After listening to this podcast, is it possible to save the economy and combat the pandemic? Do you think there is indeed a tradeoff? Why or why not? 

Discussion Prompt: Do you think how the U.S. is handling the pandemic will spark change in the healthcare system?