HKS Authors

See citation below for complete author information.

Professor of Public Policy, HKS; Harold Hitchings Burbank Professor of Political Economy, FAS


The partial economic shutdown that began in mid-March 2020, along with additional nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) such as social distancing, are “flattening the curve” of measured infections and deaths, but at a tremendous economic cost. As the figures below show, weekly deaths in the US peaked in mid-April, but have subsequently declined only slowly. Since the first week in March, more than 20% of the US labor force filed for unemployment insurance, and the April unemployment rate of 14.7% is a level not seen since the Great Depression.


Stock, James H. "Reopening the Coronavirus-Closed Economy." Hutchins Center, 2020.