Policies to Help Communities Recover: Economic Uncertainty

6 Pages Posted: 31 Jul 2020

See all articles by Salim Furth

Salim Furth

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

M. Nolan Gray

Independent

Emily Hamilton

George Mason University - Mercatus Center

Date Written: June 24, 2020

Abstract

Communities and local governments across the country face a period of extreme uncertainty. Whether or not COVID-19 is quickly contained, changes in consumer demand, supply chain struc¬ture, business practices, and regulation will reshape some of the economic life that makes cities what they are. The prospect of rapid, unplanned change is daunting, and many of the potential changes are unwelcome, but cities can make the best of this evolving situation by providing flex¬ibility for residents and businesses to experiment, adjust, and find new patterns of specialization and trade that can be sustainable in the postcoronavirus world. To support the economy’s adjustment to a new, healthy equilibrium, we suggest several poli¬cies that promote flexibility in land use and permitting.

Two companion papers specifically address possible changes in housing needs and commuting patterns. This policy brief is more general and, unlike the two companion papers, assumes that some previously profitable economic arrangements will become, perhaps drastically, less common, and that others—some of them new and unforeseen—will gain prevalence.

Keywords: housing policy, commuting, rental market, housing supply, coronavirus, coronavirus pandemic, COVID-19, public health, economics, quarantine, economy, economic crisis

JEL Classification: H70, R28, R00, O18, I00, I18

Suggested Citation

Furth, Salim and Gray, M. Nolan and Hamilton, Emily, Policies to Help Communities Recover: Economic Uncertainty (June 24, 2020). Mercatus COVID-19 Response Policy Brief Series, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3664294 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3664294

Salim Furth (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

M. Nolan Gray

Independent ( email )

Emily Hamilton

George Mason University - Mercatus Center ( email )

3434 Washington Blvd., 4th Floor
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

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