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The Fiscal Response to Covid: Successes, Missteps, and the Best Path Forward


The Fiscal Response to Covid: Successes, Missteps, and the Best Path Forward

Betsey Stevenson, Casey B. Mulligan, Allison Schrager
Feb 23, 2021 5:30pm
Tuesday Feb 23
Tuesday Feb 23 2021
PAST EVENT Tuesday Feb 23 2021

The Fiscal Response to Covid: Successes, Missteps, and the Best Path Forward”—a debate hosted by the Adam Smith Society chapters at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and Washington University’s Olin Business School.


The COVID pandemic has led to the death of roughly half a million Americans and the illness of tens of millions of Americans. Businesses have closed and millions of workers have lost their jobs. The Federal government has spent trillions in response to the economic effects of the pandemic on the other. How should we understand the fiscal response to the pandemic thus far? Is mounting national debt a concern? What steps should government take now to set America up for a healthy economic recovery once the pandemic is behind us, and what will that economic recovery require? The Adam Smith Society hosted an important debate between two leading experts, representing the past two administrations’ Councils of Economic Advisers.


Betsey Stevenson is a labor economist and professor of public policy and economics at the University of Michigan. She served as a member of the Council of Economic Advisers from 2013 to 2015 where she advised President Obama on social policy, labor market, and trade issues. She served as the chief economist of the U.S. Department of Labor from 2010 to 2011, advising the Secretary of Labor on labor policy and participating as the secretary's deputy to the White House economic team. Her research explores women's labor market experiences, the economic forces shaping the modern family, and how these labor market experiences and economic forces on the family influence each other. She has held previous positions at Princeton University and at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.

Casey MulliganCasey B. Mulligan, professor of economics at the University of Chicago, received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 1993 and has also served as a visiting professor teaching public economics at Harvard University, Clemson University, and the Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago. He is affiliated with the National Bureau of Economic Research, the George J. Stigler Center for the Study of the Economy and the State, and the Population Research Center. He has received awards and fellowships from the Manhattan Institute, the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Smith-Richardson Foundation, and the John M. Olin Foundation. His research covers capital and labor taxation, the gender wage gap, health economics, Social Security, voting and the economics of aging.

SchragerAllison Schrager is an economist, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, and co-founder of LifeCycle Finance Partners, LLC, a risk advisory firm. Allison diversified her career by working in finance, policy, and media. She led retirement product innovation at Dimensional Fund Advisors and consulted to international organizations, including the OECD and IMF. She has been a regular contributor to the Economist, Reuters, and Bloomberg Businessweek. Her writing has also appeared in Playboy, Wired, National Review and Foreign Affairs. She has an undergraduate degree from the University of Edinburgh and a PhD in economics from Columbia University and lives in New York City.


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