As a human tragedy unfolds, as governments face an unprecedented crisis and as we anticipate a
forthcoming economic catastrophe, we are watching, studying and reacting as researchers situated at
the junction of economic and social policies. The COVID-19 pandemic has put the world on hold in
myriad ways. Political leaders all over the world have announced lockdowns, global supply chains have
been altered and the industrial sector has adjusted its production. Policymakers are in uncharted
territory, with no consensus on the best response to the crisis. Even the economic outcomes of this crisis
are unclear. No preceding crisis in the recent times has had such a worldwide impact and it may perhaps
be the time for bold measures. When awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1976, Milton Friedman
stated that “only a crisis produces real change.” How governments react to this crisis and the policies
they choose to implement will certainly impact local, national, regional and internationals economic
scenario for decades to come. At the Department of Applied Economics of the Université Libre de
Bruxelles (DULBEA) we have long and broad experience in supporting Belgian public institutions as they
draw up public policies. In this context, we have prepared a short overview of the latest papers on the
economic consequences of the COVID-19 for policymakers, other researchers and concerned citizens.
We will continue to review the relevant literature and send updates every two weeks for the foreseeable

By Laura Lopez Fores, Department of Applied Economics of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (DULBEA)
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