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Review of Keynesian Economics ; 10(3):348-354, 2022.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1994344


The International Monetary Fund (IMF) provides a global public good when it lends emer-gency balance-of-payments support to countries that otherwise could not access such financing at comparable terms. No country borrows from the IMF lightly, and only does so as a last resort in the face of an economic crisis. In exchange for IMF lending, governments sur-render some sovereignty, self-determination of their economic policies, and implicitly admit that the government, on its own, could not manage the travails through which it is going. A lesser-known but also costly trade-off is that the IMF imposes significant surcharges – akin to the penalty rates imposed by banks – on countries with large borrowings from the IMF that are not paid back within a relatively short time. Indeed, IMF surcharges are pro-cyclical financial penalties imposed on countries precisely at a time when they can least afford them. This brief note examines the economic implications of the surcharges from a global distributive perspective. In so doing, the authors stress the need to eliminate excessive surcharges in the COVID-19 era and call for a more fundamental reform of IMF financing. © 2022 Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd.

Industrial and Corporate Change ; 30(2):467-497, 2021.
Article in English | Scopus | ID: covidwho-1526163


This article analyzes the economic impact of the pandemic, providing insights into the consequences of alternative policies. Our framework focuses on three key features: (i) The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a sectoral shock of unknown depth and duration affecting some sectors and technologies more than others;(ii) there are constraints in shifting resources across sectors;and (iii) there is a high level of uncertainty about the disease and its economic aftermath, inducing a high level of precautionary behavior by some agents and leading to others facing more severe credit constraints. Because of macroeconomic externalities, precautionary behavior exacerbates the downturn, and even sectors where COVID-19 does not directly affect consumption or production may face unemployment. Multipliers associated with different government expenditure programs differ markedly. The article describes policies that can mitigate precautionary behavior, leading to reduced unemployment. Greater wage flexibility may lead to increased unemployment. © 2021 The Author(s) 2021. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Associazione ICC. All rights reserved.