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The Economics of COVID-19

Members of the business and economics faculty are using the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic as a learning opportunity for their students.

In Principles of Macroeconomics, students ponder, “What measures should the federal government take to mitigate the COVID-19 pandemic?”

Students were tasked with researching policies that could be used to mitigate the current COVID-19 crisis and facilitate economic recovery before attending a virtual conference to discuss the economic impact and policies surrounding the pandemic.

They were also asked to publish a position paper that would outline their recommendations for different groups and institutions in the country like schools, farmers, hospitals, corporations and individual households.

The research culminated in a remote conference that hosted students filling the roles of the chair of the White House Coronavirus Taskforce, the Vice President of the United States, and conservative, liberal and radical experts.

It is taught by visiting business and economics professor Vera Brusentsev, but it isn’t the first time that Brusentsev has engaged students in past and present economic events and policies. Her assignments range from “in the news” economic events to financial assessments of different decades.

“The overall objective of my macroeconomics classes is to foster economic thinking so as to understand the world around us. While the focus is on concepts and theory, the emphasis is on the application of these tools to real world situations,” Brusentsev explained. “Knowledge and understanding of macroeconomics enables individuals to voice an informed opinion about many issues in our diverse world and to contribute to the continuing conversation on macroeconomic policy.”—By Mary Lobo ’15