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Scarring Body and Mind: The Long-Term Belief-Scarring Effects of COVID-19

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  • Julian Kozlowski
  • Laura Veldkamp
  • Venky Venkateswaran

Abstract

The largest economic cost of the COVID-19 pandemic could arise if it changed behavior long after the immediate health crisis is resolved. A common explanation for such a long-lived effect is the scarring of beliefs. We show how to quantify the extent of such belief changes and determine their impact on future economic outcomes. We find that the long-run effect of the COVID crisis depends crucially on whether bankruptcies and changes in habit make existing capital obsolete. A policy that avoided most permanent separation of workers from capital could generate a much larger benefit than originally thought, that could easily be 180% of annual GDP, in present value.

Suggested Citation

  • Julian Kozlowski & Laura Veldkamp & Venky Venkateswaran, 2020. "Scarring Body and Mind: The Long-Term Belief-Scarring Effects of COVID-19," Working Papers 2020-009, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedlwp:87869
    DOI: 10.20955/wp.2020.009
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    Cited by:

    1. Dmitry Matveev & Julien McDonald-Guimond & Rodrigo Sekkel, 2020. "The neutral rate in Canada: 2020 update," Staff Analytical Notes 2020-24, Bank of Canada.
    2. Martin Forster & Emanuela Randon, 2020. "Epidemic policy under uncertainty and information," Discussion Papers 20/05, Department of Economics, University of York.
    3. James Bootsma & Thomas J. Carter & Xin Scott Chen & Christopher Hajzler & Argyn Toktamyssov, 2020. "2020 US Neutral Rate Assessment," Discussion Papers 2020-12, Bank of Canada.
    4. Philippe Andrade & Jordi Galí & Hervé Le Bihan & Julien Matheron, 2021. "Should the ECB adjust its strategy in the face of a lower r*?," Economics Working Papers 1767, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Apr 2021.
    5. Greg Kaplan & Benjamin Moll & Giovanni Violante, 2020. "The Great Lockdown and the Big Stimulus: Tracing the Pandemic Possibility Frontier for the U.S," Working Papers 2020-119, Becker Friedman Institute for Research In Economics.
    6. Ethan Ilzetzki & Carmen M. Reinhart & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2020. "Will the Secular Decline In Exchange Rate and Inflation Volatility Survive COVID-19?," NBER Working Papers 28108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Hackethal, Andreas & Weber, Annika, 2020. "Fiscal policies and household consumption during the COVID-19 pandemic: A review of early evidence," SAFE White Paper Series 76, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    8. Razin, Assaf, 2021. "Globalization and Global Crises: Rest of the World vs. Israel," CEPR Discussion Papers 15643, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Kaplan, Greg & Moll, Benjamin & Violante, Giovanni L., 2020. "The Great Lockdown and the Big Stimulus: Tracing the Pandemic Possibility Frontier for the U.S," CEPR Discussion Papers 15256, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Francesco Bianchi & Giada Bianchi & Dongho Song, 2020. "The Long-Term Impact of the COVID-19 Unemployment Shock on Life Expectancy and Mortality Rates," NBER Working Papers 28304, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Michael Grömling, 2021. "COVID-19 and the Growth Potential," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 56(1), pages 45-49, January.
    12. Ademmer, Martin & Boysen-Hogrefe, Jens & Fiedler, Salomon & Gern, Klaus-Jürgen & Groll, Dominik & Hauber, Philipp & Jannsen, Nils & Kooths, Stefan & Mösle, Saskia & Stolzenburg, Ulrich, 2020. "Mittelfristprojektion für Deutschland im Herbst 2020. Wachstumspfad flacht sich ab - zusätzliche Risiken durch die Pandemie," Kieler Konjunkturberichte 72, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    13. Giovanni Gallipoli & Christos Makridis, 2020. "Sectoral Digital Intensity and GDP Growth After a Large Employment Shock: A Simple Extrapolation Exercise," Working Papers 2020-056, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    14. Aleksey Ponomarenko & Svetlana Popova & Andrey Sinyakov & Natalia Turdyeva & Dmitry Chernyadyev, 2020. "Assessing the Consequences of the Pandemic for the Russian Economy Through an Input-Output Model," Russian Journal of Money and Finance, Bank of Russia, vol. 79(4), pages 3-17, December.
    15. Harrison Hong & Jeffrey D. Kubik & Neng Wang & Xiao Xu & Jinqiang Yang, 2020. "Pandemics, Vaccines and an Earnings Damage Function," NBER Working Papers 27829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Julian Kozlowski, 2020. "COVID-19: Scarring Body and Mind," Economic Synopses, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue 43, December.
    17. Guillaume Vandenbroucke, 2020. "Endogenous Social Distancing in an Epidemic," Working Papers 2020-013, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
    18. Viral V. Acharya & Timothy Johnson & Suresh Sundaresan & Steven Zheng, 2020. "The Value of a Cure: An Asset Pricing Perspective," NBER Working Papers 28127, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Jun Zhang & Shuo Shi, 2020. "The US Unanticipated Costs of Decoupling from China," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 28(6), pages 1-27, November.
    20. Ambrocio, Gene, 2020. "European household and business expectations during COVID-19: Towards a v-shaped recovery in confidence?," BoF Economics Review 6/2020, Bank of Finland.
    21. Enghin Atalay & Shigeru Fujita & Sreyas Mahadevan & Ryan Michaels & Tal Roded, 2020. "Reopening the Economy: What Are the Risks, and What Have States Done?," Research Brief, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, July.
    22. Geoffrey J Bannister & Harald Finger & Yosuke Kido & Siddharth Kothari & Elena Loukoianova, 2020. "Addressing the Pandemic's Medium-Term Fallout in Australia and New Zealand," IMF Working Papers 2020/272, International Monetary Fund.
    23. Ademmer, Martin & Boysen-Hogrefe, Jens & Fiedler, Salomon & Groll, Dominik & Jannsen, Nils & Kooths, Stefan & Mösle, Saskia, 2020. "Deutsche Wirtschaft im Herbst 2020. Rückprall nach dem Absturz - aber Pandemie lastet auf Erholung [German Economy Autumn 2020 - Quick rebound, but Pandemic weighs on full recovery]," Kieler Konjunkturberichte 71, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; coronavirus; rare events; tail risk; belief-driven business cycles;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D84 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Expectations; Speculations
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles

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