Media Laws May Have Impacted Brexit
During a panel discussion on covering economic issues during various political environments, Chris Giles, economic editor for the Financial Times, said that media practices in Great Britain may have swayed public opinion in voting for Brexit, although many economists were against leaving.
“In the newspaper media, which is hyper-partisan in the UK, the majority of newspapers were highly on the leave side,” Giles said. “Our broadcast media, which has to follow impartiality rules in the UK, had a different problem, which was that they felt they had to give both sides absolutely equal airplay and equal time on the economic debate. And so, the small number of economists who supported leave on economic grounds realized this, and would have exactly the same amount of air time as the very large number of economists who thought it wasn’t a great idea.”
Giles argued that showing equal air time gave the public the impression that there was a balanced view among experts.
Watch Covering Economic Issues When Experts Are Not Trusted »
How to Avoid Another Pandemic: Invest in Manufacturing
We can all agree that in order to avoid another pandemic, proactivity is important. Robert Nelsen, ’87, managing director and cofounder of ARCH Venture Partners, said one of the key places to invest in advance of future problems is manufacturing, due to the role it will play in miniaturizing, systemizing, and digitizing medical technologies.
“We haven’t invested in manufacturing proactively much at all in this space,” Nelsen said. Leading up to the COVID-19 pandemic, “the only people that actually invested in manufacturing were vaccine makers.”
Watch The COVID-19 Vaccine session »
Faculty COVID Research Examined Government Assistance and Unemployment
The COVID-19 pandemic was unique in many ways, partially because of the types of workers that lost their jobs—primarily consumer-facing, lower-income workers. In his research, Pascal Noel, Neubauer Family Assistant Professor of Finance, found that even though low-income workers had the largest labor income losses, they actually had the fastest spending recovery and increase in their savings, due to both large stimulus checks and the expansion of unemployment insurance.
“The government response was very aggressive and it was able to cushion many households so that their financial impact was much less than it might otherwise have been,” he said. “The government actually was able to do that in a way that didn’t have very negative impacts on the economy.”
Watch Chicago Booth Faculty Research: Lessons from the Pandemic »