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Mr. Pragyan Deb, Davide Furceri, Daniel Jimenez, Siddharth Kothari, Mr. Jonathan David Ostry, and Nour Tawk
This paper empirically examines the economic effects of COVID-19 vaccine rollouts using a cross-country daily database of vaccinations and high frequency indicators of economic activity—nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions, carbon monoxide (CO) emissions, and Google mobility indices—for a sample of 46 countries over the period December 16, 2020 to June 20, 2021. Using surprises in vaccines administered, we find that an unexpected increase in vaccination per capita is associated with a significant increase in economic activity. We also find evidence for non-linear effects of vaccines, with the marginal economic benefits being larger when vaccination rates are higher. Country-specific conditions play an important role, with lower economic gains if strict containment measures are in place or if the country is experiencing a severe outbreak. Finally, the results provide evidence of spillovers across borders, highlighting the importance of equitable access to vaccines across nations.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept


Fall 2021 Regional Economic Outlook: Asia and Pacific--Navigating Waves of New Variants: Pandemic Resurgence Slows the Recovery

Allan Dizioli, Daniel Rivera Greenwood, and Aneta Radzikowski
This paper introduces a simple, frequently and easily updated, close to the data epidemiological model that has been used for near-term forecast and policy analysis. We provide several practical examples of how the model has been used. We explain the epidemic development in the UK, the USA and Brazil through the model lens. Moreover, we show how our model would have predicted that a super infectious variant, such as the delta, would spread and argue that current vaccination levels in many countries are not enough to curb other waves of infections in the future. Finally, we briefly discuss the importance of how to model re-infections in epidemiological models.
Mr. Serhan Cevik and Fedor Miryugin
The global economy is in the midst of an unprecedented slump caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. To assess the likely evolution of nonfinancial corporate performance going forward, this paper investigates empirically the impact of past pandemics using firm-level data on more than 537,000 companies from 14 developing countries during the period 1998–2018. The analysis indicates that the prevalence of infectious diseases has an economically and statistically significant negative effect on nonfinancial corporate performance. This adverse impact is particularly pronounced on smaller and younger firms, compared to larger and more established corporations. We also find that a higher number of infectious-disease cases in population increases the probability of failure among nonfinancial firms, particularly for small and young firms. In the case of COVID-19, the magnitude of these effects will be much greater, given the unprecedented scale of the outbreak and strict policy responses to contain its spread.
Klaus-Peter Hellwig
I regress real GDP growth rates on the IMF’s growth forecasts and find that IMF forecasts behave similarly to those generated by overfitted models, placing too much weight on observable predictors and underestimating the forces of mean reversion. I identify several such variables that explain forecasts well but are not predictors of actual growth. I show that, at long horizons, IMF forecasts are little better than a forecasting rule that uses no information other than the historical global sample average growth rate (i.e., a constant). Given the large noise component in forecasts, particularly at longer horizons, the paper calls into question the usefulness of judgment-based medium and long-run forecasts for policy analysis, including for debt sustainability assessments, and points to statistical methods to improve forecast accuracy by taking into account the risk of overfitting.
Mr. Sebastian Acevedo Mejia, Mr. Mico Mrkaic, Natalija Novta, Evgenia Pugacheva, and Petia Topalova
Global temperatures have increased at an unprecedented pace in the past 40 years. This paper finds that increases in temperature have uneven macroeconomic effects, with adverse consequences concentrated in countries with hot climates, such as most low-income countries. In these countries, a rise in temperature lowers per capita output, in both the short and medium term, through a wide array of channels: reduced agricultural output, suppressed productivity of workers exposed to heat, slower investment, and poorer health. In an unmitigated climate change scenario, and under very conservative assumptions, model simulations suggest the projected rise in temperature would imply a loss of around 9 percent of output for a representative low-income country by 2100.