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Alexander Copestake, Julia Estefania-Flores, and Davide Furceri
This paper investigates the role of digitialization in improving economic resilience. Using balance sheet data from 24,000 firms in 75 countries, and a difference-in-differences approach, we find that firms in industries that are more digitalized experience lower revenue losses following recessions. Early data since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic suggest an even larger effect during the resulting recessions. These results are robust across a wide range of digitalization measures—such as ICT input and employment shares, robot usage, online sales, intangible assets and digital skills listed on online profiles—and several alternative specifications.
Mr. Tidiane Kinda, Andras Lengyel, and Kaustubh Chahande
Many countries have deployed substantial fiscal packages to cushion the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. A historical look at past pandemics and epidemics highlights concomitant public sector support in response to health crises. This paper assesses how fiscal multipliers could vary during health crises, particularly how factors such as social distancing and uncertainty could lower contemporaneous (T) multipliers and increase near-term (T+1 and T+2) multipliers as economies re-open, including due to pent-up demand. Based on Jorda’s (2005) local projection methodology, the paper shows that cumulative fiscal multipliers one year after a health crisis is about twice larger than during normal times, particularly in advanced economies. These results suggest that large-scale fiscal support deployed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic could have larger than usual lingering impacts on economic activity, which need to be accounted for when calibrating policies.