Prof Doyne Farmer, R. Maria del Rio-Chanona & Prof Cameron Hepburn in conversation: "Supply and demand shocks in the COVID-19 pandemic: an industry and occupation perspective”

Past Event

16 September 2020, 5:00pm - 6:00pm


Event Recording:

The COVID-19 pandemic is having an unprecedented impact on societies around the world.

As governments mandate social distancing practices and instruct non-essential businesses to close to slow the spread of the outbreak, there is significant uncertainty about the effect such measures will have on lives and livelihoods. While demand for specific sectors such as healthcare has skyrocketed in recent months, other sectors such as air transportation and tourism have seen demand for their services evaporate. At the same time, many sectors are experiencing issues on the supply-side, as governments curtail the activities of non-essential industries.

Which industries will suffer most from demand-side or supply-side shocks resulting from the pandemic? Which workers are most of risk of unemployment or reduced wage income? Who will be the winners and losers?

Professor Doyne Farmer and Maria del Rio-Chanona will talk about their recent paper which estimated these shocks would threaten around 22% of the US economy's GDP, jeopardise 24% of jobs and reduce total wage income by 17% - while the potential impacts are a multiple of what was experienced during the global financial crisis, and perhaps comparable to the Great Depression. Aggressive fiscal and monetary policies are needed to minimise the impact of these shocks but the avoidance of endangering public health must be the priority.

This talk is in conjunction with The Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment at the University of Oxford and the Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

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Farmer Doyne 2020

Professor Doyne Farmer
Baillie Gifford Professor of Mathematics

J. Doyne Farmer is Director of the Complexity Economics programme at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School and an External Professor at the Santa Fe Institute.

His current research is in economics, including agent-based modeling, financial instability and technological progress. He was a founder of Prediction Company, a quantitative automated trading firm that was sold to the United Bank of Switzerland in 2006. His past research includes complex systems, dynamical systems theory, time series analysis and theoretical biology.

He was an Oppenheimer Fellow and the founder of the Complex Systems Group at Los Alamos National Laboratory. While a graduate student he built the first wearable digital computer, which was successfully used to predict the game of roulette.

Rmaria delrioch biophoto

R. Maria del Rio-Chanona
Doctoral Student, INET Oxford

Maria is a Mathematics DPhil student supervised by Doyne Farmer at the University of Oxford. Before starting her PhD, Maria did her BSc in Physics at Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) 2011-2016, was a research intern at Imperial College London and Ryerson University and worked as a data scientists for two consulting firms (Inno-ba and Pondera).

Maria’s research interests are broad. The main work of her PhD thesis focuses on developing a data-driven network model of the labour market to understand the impact of automation on employment. Additionally, Maria has worked on alternative methods to assess forecasts for renewable energy generation and has studied shock propagation in networks. In particular, Maria was a research intern at the International Monetary Fund, where she studied global financial contagion in multilayer network. In general, Maria’s research focuses on complexity economics, networks and shock propagation, agent-based models, and the future of work.

Cameron Hepburn

Professor Cameron Hepburn
Director, Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment

Cameron Hepburn is Professor of Environmental Economics at the University of Oxford; Director of the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment; and Managing Editor of the Oxford Review of Economic Policy. He also serves as the Director of the Economics of Sustainability Programme, based at the Institute for New Economic Thinking at the Oxford Martin School and Lead Researcher on the Oxford Martin School Post-Carbon Transition Project & Oxford Martin Programme on the Future of Plastics.

Cameron has published widely on energy, resources and environmental challenges across disciplines including engineering, biology, philosophy, economics, public policy and law, drawing on degrees in law and engineering (Melbourne University) and masters and doctorate in economics (Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar). He has co-founded three successful businesses and has provided advice on energy and environmental policy to government ministers (e.g. China, India, UK and Australia) and international institutions (e.g. OECD, UN).