V-, U-, L-, or W-shaped economic recovery after COVID-19? Insights from an Agent Based Model

Abstract

We discuss the impact of a Covid-like shock on a simple toy economy, described by the Mark-0 Agent-Based Model that we developed and discussed in a series of previous papers. We consider a mixed supply and demand shock, and show that depending on the shock parameters (amplitude and duration), our toy economy can display V-shaped, U-shaped or W-shaped recoveries, and even an L-shaped output curve with permanent output loss. This is due to the existence of a self-sustained “bad” state of the economy. We then discuss two policies that attempt to moderate the impact of the shock - giving easy credit to firms, and the so-called helicopter money, i.e. injecting new money into the households savings. We find that both policies are effective if strong enough, and we highlight the potential danger of terminating these policies too early. While we only discuss a limited number of scenarios, our model is flexible and versatile enough to allow for a much wider exploration, thus serving as a useful tool for the qualitative understanding of post-Covid recovery.

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