Regulating in Pandemic: Evaluating Economic and Financial Policy Responses to the Coronavirus Crisis
90 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2020 Last revised: 10 Apr 2020
Date Written: March 17, 2020
The United States is currently trying to manage a fast-moving public health crisis due to the coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19). The economic and financial ramifications of the outbreak are serious. This Working Paper discusses these ramifications and identifies three interrelated but potentially conflicting policy priorities at stake in managing the economic and financial fallout of the COVID-19 crisis: (1) providing social insurance and a social safety net to individuals and families in need; (2) managing systemic economic and financial risk; and (3) encouraging critical spatial behaviors to help contain COVID-19 transmission. The confluence of these three policy considerations and the potential conflicts among them make the outbreak a significant and unique regulatory challenge for policymakers, and one for which the consequences of getting it wrong are dire.
This Working Paper — which will be continually updated to reflect current developments — will analyze the major legislative and other policy initiatives that are being proposed and enacted to manage the economic and financial aspects of the COVID-19 crisis by examining these initiatives through the lens of these three policy priorities. It starts by analyzing the provisions of H.R. 6201 (the “Families First Coronavirus Responses Act”) passed by the house on March 14, 2020, subject to subsequent Technical Corrections of March 16, 2020, and then passed by the Senate without amendment and signed by the President on March 18, 2020. Next, it analyzes the provisions of H.R. 748 (the “Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act” or the “CARES” Act) enacted into law on March 27, 2020. By doing so, this Working Paper provides an analytical framework for evaluating these initiatives.
Keywords: regulation, pandemic, coronavirus, social insurance, family medical leave act, labor and employment law, tax policy, financial regulation, systemic risk, federal reserve
JEL Classification: E6, H20, H24, H25, H27, H29, J00, J32, J80, J83, K20, K23, K31, K34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation