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Open Access Publications from the University of California

This series is automatically populated with publications deposited by UC Santa Cruz Department of Economics researchers in accordance with the University of California’s open access policies. For more information see Open Access Policy Deposits and the UC Publication Management System.

Cover page of External Balance Sheets and the COVID-19 Crisis.

External Balance Sheets and the COVID-19 Crisis.


At the onset of the COVID-19 economic crisis, as in other crisis episodes, we observed a rapid appreciation of "safe haven" currencies. We quantify currency-induced balance sheet valuation effects for aggregate external positions as well as for broadly defined asset classes for the first quarter and the full year 2020. To do so, we use new data on the currency composition of cross-border assets and liabilities for 46 countries. In contrast with past financial crises, many emerging markets did not experience losses on their aggregate external balance sheets despite facing a domestic currency depreciation. This was partly due to currency-induced valuation gains on equity positions offsetting losses on debt positions, and partly due to reduced currency mismatch on their external debt positions. We conduct the stock-flow reconciliation of net international investment positions to measure overall valuation effects and compute the proportion that is due to changes in currency values. For about half of the countries in our sample, currency-induced valuation effects were substantial, representing over 50 percent of total valuation effects in 2020Q1 and the full year 2020.

Cover page of Research needs for a food system transition.

Research needs for a food system transition.


The global food system, and animal agriculture in particular, is a major and growing contributor to climate change, land system change, biodiversity loss, water consumption and contamination, and environmental pollution. The copious production and consumption of animal products are also contributing to increasingly negative public health outcomes, particularly in wealthy and rapidly industrializing countries, and result in the slaughter of trillions of animals each year. These impacts are motivating calls for reduced reliance on animal-based products and increased use of replacement plant-based products. However, our understanding of how the production and consumption of animal products, as well as plant-based alternatives, interact with important dimensions of human and environment systems is incomplete across space and time. This inhibits comprehensively envisioning global and regional food system transitions and planning to manage the costs and synergies thereof. We therefore propose a cross-disciplinary research agenda on future target-based scenarios for food system transformation that has at its core three main activities: (1) data collection and analysis at the intersection of animal agriculture, the environment, and societal well-being, (2) the construction of target-based scenarios for animal products informed by these new data and empirical understandings, and (3) the evaluation of impacts, unintended consequences, co-benefits, and trade-offs of these target-based scenarios to help inform decision-making.

Cover page of Essays on India’s Economic Policy in the Year of Coronavirus

Essays on India’s Economic Policy in the Year of Coronavirus


These essays were written as columns for the Financial Express daily newspaper in India. This collection begins in December 2019, so technically the first two pieces were not written in the “Year of Coronavirus.” But they provide a good starting point. The collection ends in December 2020: there are 26 essays in all. All of these pieces appeared in the Financial Express, in print and online, with varying lags from the dates of writing, which are noted after each essay. The newspaper versions invariably had different, more elaborate titles, but the ones below are my original, somewhat spare, title choices. I hope that reading these pieces in sequence and together will provide a consistent and useful perspective on Indian economic policy in a year that has been truly extraordinary. I have not changed any of the text, so these represent my real-time and evolving understandings of India’s situation over this period. Many of the essays are about the response to the pandemic, so they focus on non-economic aspects of policy but the economic implications are, I would like to think, always in the analysis. Two of the essays focus on the US – its pandemic response and its presidential election – neither is about India’s policies at all, but each has, I hope, some lessons for India.