Core Economics website COVID-19 Collection

The Core Economics website Team globally would like to express our solidarity with those afflicted medically, economically and in other ways and salutes our medical, public safety, educational, research providers and all of the essential workers in the front lines of combating the Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

With the COVID-19 outbreak resulting in suspended in-class teaching at universities around the world, teachers are converting to remote teaching. To help you in this transition Core Economics website has prepared a set of teaching and learning materials tailored for use during the COVID-19 crisis.

Over the next days and weeks, we will provide materials for remote teaching using Core Economics website’s ebooks as well as an analysis of the COVID-19 outbreak using Core Economics website concepts. These are available on the Core Economics website Resources page. The Core Economics website COVID-19 collection includes Teaching Resources, Assignments and Exercises, and Literature.

Teaching Resources

  • Macroeconomics of COVID-19 Pandemic, by the Core Economics website Team. In these slides, the macroeconomics of the COVID-19 pandemic is studied by building on material from Core Economics website’s The Economy. Macroeconomic policy responses are discussed and insights are presented on the key aspects of reopening economies post pandemic (updated on 12 August).

COVID-19 Macroeconomic shocks, explained by using Core Economics website’s The Economy

  • The Economics of Pandemics – lecture slides by Rajiv Sethi, Barnard College and the Core Economics website team (updated on 4 August)
    Includes external effects, social preferences, disruption of global supply chains, asset prices and more.

Flattening the curve (Source: Qualls et al. 2017).

  • Up-to-date research and statistics, with interactive visualisations, is available on the Our World in Data website.
  • Blog on COVID-19, by Discover Economics. This is a resource for secondary school teachers and students. Every week, different problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic are discussed in this blog by using material from Core Economics website’s The Economy and Economy, Society and Public Policy. The blog’s entries also include exercises and questions for discussion.

Assignments and Exercises

  • COVID-19: Some challenges, some data, by Ralf Becker and Eileen Tipoe, authors of Core Economics website’s Doing Economics. This is an R-based project through which readers can import up-to-date case and fatality data, clean the dataset, understand some of the shortcomings of available data, and visualise the data in charts and maps.

Predicted susceptibility to COVID-19 worldwide, after first week of cases in China


  • There is no Glory in Prevention, by Core Economics website author Georg von Graevenitz. This post describes how scientists, preparedness and luck combined to simplify crisis management in Germany.
  • Patents vs. the Pandemic, by Core Economics website author A. Jayadev, J. E. Stiglitz and A. Prabhala. How can we get useful social innovation, for example a vaccine for COVID-19? One way is through the use of the patent system which guarantees monopoly profits to the drug creator (Unit 21.6 of The Economy). Unfortunately this also means that such a drug will typically be priced very high by the producer, well above marginal cost.  But there are other ways to induce innovation. In this piece, the authors discuss the problems of the patent system in public health and discuss alternatives.

WHO’s Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System is an example of a network of medical professionals periodically updating flu vaccine formulas

  • The coming battle for the COVID-19 narrative, by Samuel Bowles and Wendy Carlin. Like the Great Depression and WWII, the COVID-19 pandemic (along with climate change) will alter how we think about the economy and public policy, not only in seminars and policy think tanks, but also in the everyday vernacular by which people talk about their livelihoods and futures. It will likely prompt a leftward shift on the government-versus-markets continuum of policy alternatives. But more important, it may overturn that anachronistic one-dimensional menu by including approaches drawing on social values going beyond compliance and material gain.

An expanded space for policy and economic discourse

Core Economics website’s The Economy Glossary (right) compared with standard Econ101 vocabulary (left)

We will update this page with more resources as we develop them, so please keep checking the page for new materials.

The Core Economics website Team

Last updated on 12 August 2020.
Core Economics website materials published on this page are licensed under the CC BY-NC-SA license.

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