An Analysis of the Worldwide Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: What and How Much?
44 Pages Posted: 16 Feb 2021
Date Written: December 10, 2020
We use the information compiled as of 15 June 2020 by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) in the ADB COVID-19 Policy Database to analyze the measures taken by its 68 members, plus the European Central Bank, and the European Union, to combat the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Measures associated with monetary policy amount to $14.9 trillion ($1.4 trillion by ADB’s developing members), while the measures associated with fiscal policy amount to $7.1 trillion ($1.5 trillion by ADB’s developing members). We discuss the specifics of five countries—identifying similarities and differences. Analysis shows that some countries implemented actions which do not translate easily into monetary amounts for reporting. We show that the total package per capita is directly related to gross domestic product per capita with a high elasticity of 1.61; and so is the package on government support to income and revenue (a subset of the total package), with an elasticity of 1.49. We develop a series of models to understand why rich economies spend significantly more per capita. Results indicate that the package per capita is positively related to the COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 population as of 15 June 2020, population of at least 65 years old as percent of total population, and wage and salaried workers as percent of total employment; and inversely related to self-employed as percent of total employment, and vulnerable employment as percent of total employment. We use this information to compare actual to expected packages.
Keywords: ADB COVID-19 Policy Database, COVID-19
JEL Classification: A10, C82
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation