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Webinar: Macroeconomic and health impact of COVID: the meeting of two communities

This webinar intends to bring together those two communities to discuss the challenges of combining macroeconomic and epidemiological modelling , with a focus on LMICs. We will first discuss the work of Marcus Keogh Brown and Henning Jensen, Associate Professors at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) on the macroeconomic impact on the Pakistan economy of Covid-19 and non-pharmaceutical interventions.

Management of the COVID-19 outbreak has relied heavily on the contributions of two disciplines: macroeconomics and epidemiology. These contributions have been largely separate: epidemiological models of COVID have yet to include economics; conversely, the attempts to include health in macroeconomic modelling have been limited (see Eichenbaum, Rebelo and Trabandt, 2020).

There is a risk that health and economics are presented as two opposing considerations in public policy (e.g. “protecting health” vs “protecting the economy” or the “lives vs livelihoods” debates). However, the interactions between the economy and health are deep and numerous. To name a few, increasing rates of infection creates uncertainty and behavourial changes (incl fear) that lead to a decline in consumption; high rates of infection can cause a reduction of supply in services and disruptions in the economy; increasing rates of poverty and unemployment can also have direct and significant impacts on health.