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Productivity in the Time of COVID-19 : Evidence from East Asia and Pacific (English)

Firms in the East Asia and Pacific (EAP) region have been hit hard by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, with dramatic and widespread falls in sales and employment. Firm sales in some EAP countries were 38 to 58 percent lower in April or May 2020, compared to the same month in the previous year. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have been particularly affected. The pandemic will have a lasting impact on productivity growth as firm indebtedness and increased uncertainty inhibit investment, and firm closures and unemployment lead to a loss of valuable intangible assets. Support for firms is needed but must be based as far as possible on objective criteria, related not only to past performance or current pain but to the potential for firms, including new firms, to thrive in the future. To avoid unduly prolonging assistance, governments should build exit strategies into the design of support measures and commit to phasing support out by linking it to observable macroeconomic indicators of recovery.


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    De Nicola,Francesca, Mattoo,Aaditya, Timmis,Jonathan David, Tran,Trang Thu

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    East Asia and Pacific,

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    East Asia and Pacific,

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    Productivity in the Time of COVID-19 : Evidence from East Asia and Pacific

  • Keywords

    Micro, Small and Medium Enterprise; productivity-enhancing investment; productivity growth; formal sector; intangible asset; impact on productivity; digital technology; share of labor; resolution of bankruptcy; shortages of labor; choice of institution; lack of awareness; long-term productivity growth; measuring intangible asset; banking sector regulation; global supply chain; Wage Subsidies; no access; wage subsidy; business environment; long-term growth; business model; aggregate productivity; macroeconomic indicator; Social Protection; new business; digital business; take time; red tape; future productivity; credit guarantee; credit market; objective criterion; productive use; immediate relief; firm sale; tax system; innovative start-ups; management skill; downward spiral; innovation investment; tax incentive; new investment; productive activity; reallocating resource; Digital Solutions; financial study; productivity slowdown; productive investment; Cash Transfer; payment system; new technology; government action; employment loss; tax relief; rent subsidy; Rent subsidies; soft loan; mutual investment; banking system; existing schemes; Business Climate; government support; small fraction; economic crisis; Economic Policy; labor economics; global impact; industry concentration; productivity work; product innovation; creative destruction; credit expansion; level analysis; international money; epidemic disease; development study; economic research; national policy; Industrial Policies; industry policy; firm dynamic; Job Creation; asset price; enterprise registration; global development; disaster resilience; inclusive growth; asset market; social economy; high share; unemployment rate; informal firms; industrial production; innovative business; designing policy; Market Risk; tax policy; public funding; regulatory system; insolvency resolution; bankruptcy court; average product; digital infrastructure; reducing barriers; credit constraint; economic recovery; future earnings; worker training; support measure; demand shock; public support; sunk cost; new credit; foreign demand; permanent loss; local consumption; modern business; labor supply; general management; health supply; lower demand; widespread insolvency; raw material; job loss; total employment; smaller one; employment adjustments; sample bias; research assistance; Exit Strategy; new product; radical innovation; cutting expenditures; informal worker



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De Nicola,Francesca Mattoo,Aaditya Timmis,Jonathan David Tran,Trang Thu

Productivity in the Time of COVID-19 : Evidence from East Asia and Pacific (English). Research & Policy Briefs,no. 46 Washington, D.C. : World Bank Group.