The COVID-19 crisis affects more than just our health -- it is also a major economic pandemic that is not only affecting our lives today but will continue to do so in the future.  

To help students of economics and the general public to understand some of these impacts, the Virginia Tech Department of Economics will host the hour-long live webinar Covid-19 & the Economy: Past, Present and Future at 12 p.m. Wednesday, April 15, 2020, to address questions and concerns.  

Topics will range from macroeconomic models showing the impacts on GDP around the world, and international relations and development, to discussions on the implications for health and labor sectors and the purchasing decisions that leads people to hoard toilet paper.

The panel can be viewed live on YouTube. Viewers will be able to submit questions in either the chat or comments section.

Four department faculty members will serve as the panelists for this webinar to share their expertise. They are:

Matthew Kovach, a collegiate assistant professor who will serve as moderator and is a behavioral economist who focuses his research on belief biases and the role of attention in choice.

Melinda Miller, an assistant professor and an economic historian who focuses on the impact of federal policy on inequality in the United States, with a particular emphasis on the Native American population and methods to measure the health of historical populations.

Djavad Salehi-Isfahani, a professor who conducts research on economic development issues, especially in the Middle East, and the world oil market. He has been featured regularly on National Public Radio for his views on the economy of Iran during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kwok Ping “Byron” Tsang, an associate professor who focuses his research on the connections between the macroeconomy and financial markets, more recently working on projects related to the economic effects of COVID-19 using his first-hand experience from Hong Kong during the 2002 to 2004 SARS outbreak. A recent study that he co-authored that focused on the China economy and COVID-19 was highlighted in the Wall Street Journal.

This panel is the first of several Lunch & Learn online sessions to be hosted by the Virginia Tech College of Science, featuring faculty and other experts talking about their research and/or career work. Each session will debut at noon. More events will be announced soon.