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The Global Economic Effects of COVID-19: Perspectives from Economics and Catholic Social Thought

Aug 13, 2020
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Francisco BueraWashington University in St. Louis

Galina Hale University of California, Santa Cruz; Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Jeanne LafortunePontifical University of Chile

Fr. Paulinus Odozor, C.S.Sp.University of Notre Dame

Sergio RebeloNorthwestern University

Free and open to the public. The event will be held online over Zoom and will be livestreamed on YouTube.

Cosponsored by America Media and the Catholic Research Economists Discussion Organization.

The adverse impact of the COVID-19 Crisis on the lives and livelihoods of people is hard to fully appreciate in real time.  Moreover, it is not equally distributed across socio-economic groups within countries or across countries. This panel sets economics and Catholic Social Thought in dialogue, discussing the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic, the policies to mitigate it, and the values that ought inform our judgements.

Francisco J. Buera is the Sam B. Cook Professor of Economics at Washington University in St. Louis. Professor Buera's current research spans many topics, including the role of financial markets in the process of development, the rise of the service economy, and the diffusion of technologies and economic policies across countries. Before joining the economics department at Washington University, he served as a senior economist and research advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Previously, he held positions at UCLA, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Princeton University, MIT, and Northwestern University, and he received his PhD from the University of Chicago. Buera is an associate editor at the Review of Economic Studies and the American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, and is a member of the advisory board of CREDO, the Catholic Research Economists Discussion Organization.


Galina Hale is a Professor of Economics at UC Santa Cruz and a Research Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Previously she was an assistant professor in the economics department of Yale University, and she received her PhD in economics from UC Berkeley, under the supervision of Barry Eichengreen. Prof. Hale's research interests lie in three main areas: understanding patterns of international capital flows and international financial crises, international banking, and stability of financial networks. She has published her work in numerous scholarly journals, and she co-wrote with Cheryl Long Foreign Direct Investment in China: Winners and Losers. Prof. Hale currently serves as a co-editor of the Russian Journal of Central Banking, associate editor of the Journal of International Economics, a member of editorial board of the IMF Economic Review and Pacific Economic Review, and is an executive board member of CREDO: the Catholic Research Economists Discussion Organization.


Jeanne Lafortune is an Associate Professor and Director of Research in the Department of Economics at Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile. She holds a PhD from MIT, an MA from the University of Toronto, and a BA from McGill University. Her primary fields of interest are labor and development economics, with a particular interest in family economics. Her research has, among various topics, looked at the relationship between marriage market conditions and human capital accumulation, the role of caste in the Indian marriage market, the impact of migration in early 20th century United States and the role of changing alimony rights of cohabiting partners. She is currently using randomized evaluations to study female training, financial literacy training and worker's safety programs.


Paulinus Ikechukwu Odozor, C.S.Sp. is professor of theology at the Univeristy of Notre Dame. A priest of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans), he received his initial formation in Nigeria and did his graduate studies at St Michaels College, Toronto, Regis College, Toronto, and the University of Toronto. Odozor's scholarly interests are in Foundational issues in Christian ethics; history of Catholic moral theology; contextual theological issues, including questions pertaining to inculturation; theology and society; African Christian theology; and the theology of marriage. Fr. Odozor is also an Africanist with interest in African history, African literature, African politics and questions relating to change and contemporary African societies. In addition to being the author of many articles in peer-reviewed publications in Africa, Asia, Europe, and North America, Fr Odozor has also authored or edited nine books, including Moral Theology in an Age of Rnenewal: A study of the Catholic Tradition since Vatican IISexuality, Marriage and Family: Readings in the Catholic Tradition, and Morality Truly Christian, Truly African: Foundational, Methodological and Theological Considerations.


Sergio Rebelo is the MUFG Bank Distinguished Professor of International Finance at the Kellogg School of Management, where he has served as Chair of the Finance Department. Professor Rebelo does research on macroeconomics and international finance. He is a fellow of the Econometric Society, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the Center for Economic Policy Research. He has been a member of the editorial board of various academic journals, including the American Economic Review, the European Economic Review, the Journal of Monetary Economics, and the Journal of Economic Growth. Professor Rebelo has served as a consultant to the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, the European Central Bank, the McKinsey Global Institute, the Global Markets Institute at Goldman Sachs, and other organizations. He received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Rochester.