COVID-19 in the global south: economic impacts and recovery
Wednesday, June 10
9:00–10:15 AM Pacific
COVID-19 is threatening the health and economic security of communities around the world, with dire implications for those living in poverty. This panel discussion will focus on current research that sheds light on the economic toll of the pandemic, as well as the optimal design and targeting of cash transfer programs. The Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) will host this webinar to share practical insights that support evidence-based responses and inform government and NGO decision-making in the face of what could quickly become a protracted crisis.
- Ted Miguel — Oxfam Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and Faculty Co-Director of the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) — will present new evidence from Kenya demonstrating the economic toll of COVID on poor households.
- Supreet Kaur — Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley, and CEGA affiliate — will share research on the impacts and legacy of scarcity and economic shocks in India, with implications for other countries.
- Paul Niehaus — Associate Professor of Economics at the University of California, San Diego; co-founder of the nonprofit GiveDirectly; co-founder of the emerging market fintech companies Segovia and Taptap Send, and CEGA affiliate — will explain GiveDirectly’s tested social safety net model (unconditional cash transfers), reviewing evidence from Kenya, Uganda, and Rwanda.
- Joshua Blumenstock — Assistant Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Information, Director of the Data-Intensive Development Lab, and CEGA Faculty Co-Director — will discuss the potential to use machine learning approaches and nontraditional data sources (including mobile phone records) to quickly and effectively target the delivery of social safety net programs.
- Carson Christiano, CEGA Executive Director, will moderate the panel.
Participants are welcome to fill out this short survey and submit questions for the panelists in advances of the event. Viewers will also be able to propose questions in real time through Facebook and Youtube.
BIDS Senior Fellow Edward Miguel is the Oxfam Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics, the Faculty Director of the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS), and the Faculty Co-Director of the Center for Effective Global Action (CEGA) at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 2000. His research focuses on African economic development, including work on the economic causes and consequences of violence; the impact of ethnic divisions on local collective action; interactions between health, education, environment, and productivity for the poor; and methods for transparency in social science research. He has conducted field work in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, and India. Miguel earned S.B. degrees in both Economics and Mathematics from MIT, and received a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University, where he was a National Science Foundation Fellow.
BIDS Faculty Council Member Joshua Blumenstock is an Assistant Professor at the UC Berkeley School of Information, the Director of the Data-Intensive Development Lab and the Global Policy Lab, and the Faculty Co-Director of the Center for Effective Global Action. His research lies at the intersection of machine learning and development economics, and focuses on using novel data and methods to better understand the causes and consequences of global poverty. Joshua has a PhD in Information Science and a MA in Economics from UC Berkeley, and Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Physics from Wesleyan University. He is a recipient of the Intel Faculty Early Career Honor, a Gates Millennium Grand Challenge award, a Google Faculty Research Award, and the U.C. Berkeley Chancellor's Award for Public Service. His work has appeared in a variety of publications including Science, Nature, the American Economic Review, and the proceedings of KDD, NeurIPS, and AAAI.