Thomas Ferguson is the Research Director at the Institute for New Economic Thinking. He is Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts, Boston and Senior Fellow at Better Markets. He received his Ph.D. from Princeton University and taught formerly at MIT and the University of Texas, Austin. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Golden Rule (University of Chicago Press, 1995) and Right Turn (Hill & Wang, 1986). His articles have appeared in many scholarly journals, including the Quarterly Journal of Economics, International Organization, International Studies Quarterly, and the Journal of Economic History. He is a member of the editorial board of the International Journal of Political Economy and a longtime Contributing Editor at The Nation.
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Rule Number 1 for Government Bailouts of Companies: Make Sure Voters and Taxpayers Share in the Upside
If the public is to be called upon for the second time in twelve years to bail out businesses, it should get something back for its money. Bailed out firms should be compelled to issue convertible bonds to the government.
If the European Central Bank does not jump to the aid of peripheral countries weakened by the pandemic, the Eurozone could collapse.
Lower Income Towns in New Hampshire Voted Heavily for Sanders; Richer Towns Did the Opposite.
The Irresistible Force Meets the Immovable Object?
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“A look around the world shows that so far no country has managed to effectively protect its risk groups when the number of infections is high - Sweden at the beginning of the pandemic or Switzerland in the second wave also had to pay for their special routes with many deaths. And if such a strategy fails, you have wasted valuable time and may find yourself confronted with an infection that is completely out of control. This would mean a collapse of the health system with all the ensuing consequences. This also includes immense damage to the economy. This is also confirmed by a study by the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Those who reacted belatedly or wavered between strategies not only had very high casualties, but were also the most damaging to their economies, it said. The authors cite Great Britain as a negative example.” — Klaus Wedekind
“The “go-hard/go-early and no regrets” approach of the Australian states has been vindicated by the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), a nonpartisan, nonprofit organisation established in the wake of the 2009 global financial crash.” …. “We must be ready to accept renewed restrictions, targeted shutdowns and border closures. As the INET report clearly demonstrates, the failure to act is much more costly than any temporary measures, such as those used in South Australia last month.” — Dennis Atkins
“Actual experience, as opposed to cost-benefit analyses of theoretical alternatives, further strengthens the case for suppressing the disease fully, where feasible. A recent paper from the Institute for New Economic Thinking, To Save the Economy, Save the People First, suggests why. A chart (reproduced here) shows that countries have followed two strategies: suppression, or trading off deaths against the economy. By and large, the former group has done better in both respects. Meanwhile, countries that have sacrificed lives have tended to end up with high mortality and economic costs.” — Martin Wolf, The Financial Times
“To save the economy, you have to save people first, is the title of a paper by Alvelda, Ferguson and Mallery of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. This work groups countries into three categories, according to the response to the covid: those that gave priority to maintaining economic life; those who focused on taking care of health first and those who wanted to be placed in the middle, but did not do either one well. The best economic results correspond to those who prioritized health. They are countries that are in Asia and Oceania, mainly. The worst are in the other two groups. Those who did not define one or the other, got the worst of both worlds: many deaths and great economic damage. What can be done? Alvelda, Ferguson, and Mallery recommend targeted subsidies by regions and sectors hardest hit; guarantee income for workers in non-essential activities and subsidize health safety measures for all those who cannot stop. This means, among other things, public money to make public transport and some massive workplaces more sanitary. Subsidize supervision / surveillance measures in spaces where many people go: shopping centers and places of religious worship, for example.” — Luis Miguel Gonzalez, El Economista (translated from Spanish)