How to Deal with a Coronavirus Economic Recession?

18 Pages Posted: 20 May 2020

See all articles by Vladimir Popov

Vladimir Popov

Central Economics and Mathematics Institute (CEMI); New Economic School (NES)

Date Written: May 18, 2020


2020 world economic downturn associated with the restrictions intended to fight COVID-19 pandemic is a structural recession caused by adverse supply shock. It is similar to recessions caused (or aggravated) by post war conversion of defense industries, by oil price shocks (1973, 1979, 2007), and by the transition to the market in post-communist countries in the 1990s (transformational recession).

Whereas traditional Keynesian policy (absorption of adverse supply shock by means of expansionary fiscal and monetary policy) can help, best results are achieved by government industrial policies promoting restructuring – transferring resources (capital and labor) from the contracting industries to the expanding. The experience of China and some other East Asian countries that seem to be more successful in overcoming the coronavirus recession provides additional evidence.

Keywords: Structural recession, adverse supply shock, demand shock, conventional Keynesian response to recession, restructuring, industrial policy

JEL Classification: E32, E6, E65, O25, P20, P51

Suggested Citation

Popov, Vladimir, How to Deal with a Coronavirus Economic Recession? (May 18, 2020). Available at SSRN: or

Vladimir Popov (Contact Author)

Central Economics and Mathematics Institute (CEMI) ( email )

Nakhimovsky Prospect 47
Moscow, 117418

New Economic School (NES) ( email )

100A Novaya Street
Moscow, Skolkovo 143026

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