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Lessons learned from the US economic policy response to COVID-19

In the United States, COVID-19 triggered a sharp economic downturn. Yet, the ensuing economic recovery was faster and stronger than nearly any forecaster anticipated due in part to the swift, aggressive, sustained, and creative fiscal and monetary policy response in the U.S. While the next recession most likely won’t be triggered by a pandemic, the response can be informed by lessons learned from the COVID-19 recession.

The two-day event will coincide with the release of a Hamilton Project and Hutchins Center book, of the same name, that examines and evaluates the breadth of the economic policy response to COVID-19. Chapters address unemployment insurance, Economic Impact Payments, loans and grants to businesses, assistance to renters and mortgage holders, aid to state and local governments, policies that targeted children, Federal Reserve policy, and the use of non-traditional data to monitor the economy and guide policy. These chapters provide evidence and lessons to apply to the next recession.

The two-day event will feature a keynote address by U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen.

On Wednesday, April 27, 2022, The Hamilton Project and the Hutchins Center hosted a webcast that will feature some of the authors of chapters in the new book. The webcast included a framing discussion with Wendy Edelberg, The Hamilton Project, and Jason Furman, Harvard University, and three roundtable discussions with the book’s authors, moderated by Wendy Edelberg, The Hamilton Project; David Wessel, The Hutchins Center; and Austan Goolsbee, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.

On Thursday, April 28, 2022, The Hamilton Project and Hutchins Center hosted an in-person event, which was also livestreamed online, featuring an introductory welcome from former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin, the keynote address from Secretary Yellen, and closing remarks from Glenn Hutchins, North Island. The event also included two roundtable discussions focusing on how well the federal economic policy responses were designed and administered and what we should keep in mind when the next recession hits. Participants include Sandy K. Baruah, Detroit Regional Chamber; Wendy Edelberg, The Hamilton Project; Jason Furman, Harvard University; Ylan Q. Mui, CNBC; Chairman Hakeem Jeffries, Eighth Congressional District of New York; Louise Sheiner, The Hutchins Center; Gene Sperling, The White House; Mayor Levar Stoney, City of Richmond, Commonwealth of Virginia; and Valerie Wilson, Economic Policy Institute.

For updates on the event, follow @HamiltonProj on Twitter and join the conversation using #RecessionRemedies to submit questions for the panelists, or email [email protected].

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