Growth Lab's COVID-19 Task Force: Strategy and Resources

In response to COVID-19, Growth Lab Director Ricardo Hausman brought together a task force, including members of our academic and applied research teams, to support our project counterparts worldwide. This team worked quickly to understand the dynamics of the virus by connecting with experts across Harvard University.  

Our team has shared new insights and offered strategic guidance on economic and epidemiological policy decisions with project counterparts in Albania, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Honduras, Peru, Namibia, South Africa, and Saudi Arabia. In addition, the team has been responding to requests from other governments around the world to share its learnings.

In this space, we will share resources (either generated by our team or externally) for developing countries struggling to navigate the health and economic responses to COVID-19.


Latin America: The Post-Pandemic Decade - Conversations with 16 Latin American Economists
This eBook brings together leading Latin American researchers and policymakers to discuss the sizeable challenges ahead and map out policy options for a sustainable, equitable and stable future for the region. In one chapter, Ricardo Hausmann explores the most likely growth scenario for the region as a whole, addresses LatAm’s middle-income trap, how the green agenda might affect a viable growth strategy for the region, and more. | December 2021

What Economic Complexity Theory Can Tell Us about the EU’s Pandemic Recovery and Resilience Plans
Ricardo Hausmann, Miguel Angel Santos, Corrado Macchiarelli and Renato Giacon write that economic complexity theories can provide a useful tool for evaluating whether the recovery and resilience plans submitted by EU member states to receive this funding are well-designed. Assessing the case of Greece, they argue that investments should be tailored toward export-oriented sectors and aim to help close the country’s product complexity gap with other EU states. | September 2021

Lockdown Fatigue: The Diminishing Effects of Quarantines on the Spread of COVID-19
This research finds that lockdowns tend to significantly reduce the spread of the virus and the number of related deaths. But the researchers also show that this benign impact declines over time: after four months of strict lockdown, Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions have a significantly weaker contribution in terms of their effect in reducing COVID-19 related fatalities. | February 2021

Economics of COVID-19 in Three Sub‑Saharan African Countries: Ethiopia, Namibia and South Africa
In this book chapter, Growth Lab Director Ricardo Hausmann and research fellow Patricio Goldstein draw provisional lessons on the impact of Covid-19 in these economies, discuss the spread of the virus, the measures taken to slow it down, the external shocks associated with the global impact of the disease, and the economic policies taken to confront the challenge and the economic consequences of the pandemic, in terms of growth, fiscal and financial outcomes and prospects. | February 2021

The Economic Case for Global Vaccinations: An Epidemiological Model with International Production Networks
With vaccines in short supply as of early 2021 and most of them reserved for the advanced economies, this research shows that the global GDP loss of not inoculating all the countries, relative to a counterfactual of global vaccinations, is higher than the cost of manufacturing and distributing vaccines globally. | January 2021

Video: COVID-19 Response and Recovery
As part of Harvard's World Wide Week, Ricardo Hausmann and our COVID-19 Task Force members discussed the research we've conducted around the epidemic and its potential impacts. We also highlighted how the Growth Lab integrated this research into country-specific projects (Ethiopia, Honduras, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and South Africa), focusing on our work in developing government response and economic recovery plans. | October 2020

Planning for Crisis Resilience
Op-Ed by Ricardo Hausmann for Project Syndicate | September 2020

Horrible Trade-offs in a Pandemic: Lockdowns, Transfers, Fiscal Space, and Compliance
Research paper by Ricardo Hausmann and Ulrich Schetter reveals how the deprivation caused by lockdowns can be just as deadly as the pandemic, and reinforce the need for massive financial support in developing countries. 
June 2020

COVID-19 Back-to-Work Planning Briefing
Massachusetts High Technology Council's Recovery and Return to the Workplace Framework focuses on three main strategic areas: Segmentation and Sequencing; Effective Therapeutics; and Reducing the Rate of Spread
May 1, 2020

A Roadmap for Confronting COVID-19 in Latin America
Fernando Henrique Cardoso, Ricardo Lagos, Juan Manuel Santos, Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Léon, Mauricio Cárdenas, Roberto Chang, José De Gregorio, Ilan Goldfajn, Ricardo Hausmann, Eduardo Levy Yeyati, Federico Sturzenegger, Rodrigo Valdés and Andrés Velasco
Americas Quarterly | April 15, 2020

In the Fog of War - Reflections from the COVID-19 Frontlines
Ricardo Hausmann lecture for HKS students | April 9, 2020

Macroeconomic Policy in the Time of COVID-19: A Primer for Developing Countries
Norman Loayza (World Bank); Roberto Chang (Rutgers University); Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas (UC Berkeley); Ricardo Hausmann (Harvard Kennedy School); and Andrés Velasco (London School of Economics)
World Bank E-Seminar | April 7, 2020

Letter to governments of the G20 nations
An open letter to the G20 calling for unprecedented response to COVID-19. Signed by Ricardo Hausman, et al Vox/CEPR Policy Portal | April 7, 2020

Como Salir de Cuarentena y Lidiar con sus Consecuencias Económicas en Bolivia 
(How to Quarantine and Deal with its Economic Consequences in Bolivia)
Ricardo Hausmann and former Bolivian President Jorge Quiroga
Facebook Live | April 2, 2020

COVID-19 Macroeconomic Consequences for Developing Countries
Presentation slides by Ricardo Hausmann | March 25, 2020

Flattening the COVID-19 Curve in Developing Countries
Op-Ed by Ricardo Hausmann for Project Syndicate | March 24, 2020

COVID-19 Community Mobility Report
Google reports chart movement trends over time by geography, across different categories of places such as retail and recreation, groceries and pharmacies, parks, transit stations, workplaces, and residential.

Using a Delay Adjusted Case Fatality Ratio to Estimate Under-Reporting
Timothy W. Russell, et al | April 8, 2020

How to Keep Global Supply Chains Moving
Anabel González (PIIE) | March 27, 2020