21st Jacques Polak Annual Research Conference

Living in the Extreme: Economics of Pandemics, Climate Change and Tail Risks

November 5-6, 2020

The International Monetary Fund will hold the 21st Jacques Polak Annual Research Conference virtually on November 5-6, 2020.

Extreme events pose enormous challenges to the global economy, as evidenced by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the increased frequency of disasters due to climate change. During such events, historical patterns and conventional approaches become obsolete. Decisions need to be made with limited information about the facts on the ground and with far-from-accurate forecasts about the future. When extreme events are global, there is diminished scope for international risk sharing, and pressures on government institutions, domestic and international, become acute. In light of these challenges, this year’s conference will focus on “Living in the Extreme: Economics of Pandemics, Climate Change and Tail Risks.” The conference will bring together researchers and policymakers to discuss innovative research in this area and facilitate the exchange of views.

The conference is open to the public and registration is required for all non-IMF participants. Registration will close Monday, November 2, 2020. For questions regarding the conference, please email ARC@imf.org.

Thursday, November 5, 2020

9:30–9:35 am


9:35–11:35 am

Session 1: Financial Markets and Cross-Border Flows After COVID-19

Chair: Petya Koeva Brooks (Deputy Director, Research Department, IMF)

Stock Prices, Lockdowns, and Economic Activity in the Time of Coronavirus

Steven J. Davis (Booth School of Business, University of Chicago), Dingqian Liu (American University) and Xuguang Simon Sheng (American University)

Discussant: Stefano Giglio (Yale School of Management)

Capital Flows in Risky Times: Risk-on/Risk-off and Emerging Market Tail Risk 

Anusha Chari (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill), Karlye Dilts Stedman (Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City), and Christian Lundblad (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Discussant: Mahvash Qureshi (IMF)

Aggregate Balance Sheet Effects of Exchange Rates at the Onset of COVID-19 Crisis

Galina Hale (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco) and Luciana Juvenal (IMF)

Discussant: Kristin Forbes (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

11:35–11:45 am

***Coffee Break***

11:45–1:00 pm

Session 2: COVID-19 and the Macroeconomy

Macroeconomic Implications of COVID-19: Can Negative Supply Shocks Cause Demand Shortages?

Veronica Guerrieri (Booth School of Business, University of Chicago), Guido Lorenzoni (Northwestern University), Ludwig Straub (Harvard University), and Iván Werning (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Discussant: Fabrizio Perri (Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis)

Can the Covid Bailouts Save the Economy?

Vadim Elenev (Johns Hopkins University), Tim Landvoigt (Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania), and Stijn Van Neiweurburgh (Columbia Business School)

Discussant: Giovanni Dell’Ariccia (IMF)

1:00–1:45 pm

***Lunch Break***

1:45–2:45 pm

Policy Discussion I: Policy Responses to Climate-Related Disasters

Moderator: Kristalina Georgieva (Managing Director, IMF)


Mark Carney (Former Governor, Bank of England)

William Nordhaus (Yale University)

2:45–3:00 pm

***Coffee Break***

3:00–4:15 pm

Mundell-Fleming Lecture by Carmen Reinhart (The World Bank)

Introduction by Gita Gopinath (Economic Counsellor and Director, Research Department, IMF)

Friday, November 6, 2020

9:30–11:30 am

Session 3: Natural Disasters and Extreme Events

Chair:  Antonio Spilimbergo (Deputy Director, Research Department, IMF)

Macroeconomic Outcomes in Disaster-Prone Countries

Alessandro Cantelmo (Bank of Italy), Giovanni Melina (IMF), and Chris Papageorgiou (IMF)

Discussant: François Gourio (Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago)

Natural Disasters, Climate Change, and Sovereign Risk

Enrico Mallucci (Federal Reserve Board)

Discussant: Laura Alfaro (Harvard Business School)

The Local Economic Impact of Natural Disasters

Brigitte Roth Tran (Federal Reserve Board) and Daniel Wilson (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco)

Discussant: Yuriy Gorodnichenko (University of California, Berkeley)

11:30–11:45 am

***Coffee Break***

11:45–1:00 pm

Session 4: Global Supply Chains, Globalization and COVID-19

ChairLinda Tesar (Editor-in-Chief of the IMF Economic Review and University of Michigan)

Global Supply Chains in the Pandemic

Barthélémy Bonadio (University of Michigan), Zhen Huo (Yale University), Andrei A. Levchenko (University of Michigan), and Nitya Pandalai-Nayar (University of Texas at Austin)

Discussant: Lorenzo Caliendo (Yale University)

From Just in Time, to Just in Case, to Just in Worst-Case: Simple models of a Global Supply Chain under Uncertain Aggregate Shocks

Bomin Jiang (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Daniel Rigobon (Princeton University), and Roberto Rigobon (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Discussant: David Baqaee (University of California, Los Angeles)

1:00–1:45 pm

***Lunch Break***

1:45–3:00 pm

Session 5: Heterogenous Effects of COVID-19

Chair: Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas (S.K. and Angela Chan Professor of Management, University of California, Berkeley)

How do People Respond to Small Probability Events with Large, Negative Consequences?

Martin Eichenbaum (Northwestern University), Miguel Godinho de Matos (Católica Lisbon School of Business and Economics), Francisco Lima (Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa), Sergio Rebelo (Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University), and Mathias Trabandt (Freie Universität Berlin, DIW and IWH) 

Discussant: Francisco Buera (Washington University)

Mobility under the COVID-19 Pandemic: Asymmetric Effects across Gender and Age

Francesca Caselli (IMF), Francesco Grigoli (IMF), Damiano Sandri (IMF), and Antonio Spilimbergo (IMF)

Discussant: Stephen Redding (Princeton University)

3:00–3:15 pm

***Coffee Break***

3:15–4:15 pm

Policy Discussion II: COVID-19: Policy Response and International Aspects

Moderator: Gita Gopinath (Economic Counsellor and Director, Research Department, IMF)


Penny Goldberg (Yale University)

Paul Krugman (City University of New York)

4:15 pm

Closing Remarks


Conference Program Committee: Emine Boz (IMF, Co-Editor of the IMF Economic Review) and Linda Tesar (Editor-in-Chief of the IMF Economic Review and the University of Michigan) 
Conference Coordinators: Tracey Lookadoo and Ariana Tayebi

Disclaimer: This web page contains links to papers that will be presented at the 21st Jacques Polak Annual Research Conference (ARC). The views expressed in these papers are those of the authors only, and the presence of them, or of links to them, on the IMF website does not imply that the IMF, its Executive Board, or its management endorses or shares the views expressed in the papers.