The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious crisis. To understand its effects, and to guide policy responses, we need evidence. However, since the crisis is recent, we do not yet have enough data to understand its long-term effects; since some policy responses have not yet been tried, or have only recently been implemented, we are unable to assess their success. Moreover, particularly given the seriousness of the pandemic, we need to ensure that evidence is of the highest quality, but the peer review process in finance journals takes several years.
The Review of Finance has prepared a virtual special issue highlighting published papers on past crises and economic downturns. While no two crises are the same, and the findings on prior downturns will not automatically apply to COVID-19, these papers will hopefully shed useful light on the current crisis. First, they are peer-reviewed; second, sufficient time elapsed after the downturns or policy responses to allow analyses of their long-term effects. A short summary of each paper and its potential relevance to the current crisis is here. All articles are freely available to read and download.