What happens when entire countries can no longer pay their debts in the 21st century? Is the international economy strong enough to handle dozens of insolvent countries—especially in the middle of a global pandemic? This article explores how countries became indebted before and during COVID-19 and whether the current strategy of sovereign debt reduction is an effective way to stabilize countries in the midst of a public health crisis.Continue Reading

Millions of Americans lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but one key demographic may remain home even after the quarantine ends: women. Since the start of the pandemic, women have been leaving at a rate 4 times greater than their male counterparts. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, 617,000 women left the workforce in September 2020, compared to 78,000 men. This great disparity isn’t just a consequence of gender inequality in the workplace. It’s a result of the forced division of labor between men and women in nuclear families, pressuring women with children and other family obligations to prioritize the needs of others over their own professional fulfillment.Continue Reading

Higher education is a lucrative industry. Millions of students funnel billions of dollars into universities to not only attain an undergraduate degree but to also live the so-called “college experience.” But just like every other industry, it has been hit hard by the coronavirus, and students are rethinking whether the virtual, online college experience is worth the high price tag.Continue Reading

Enrico Moretti, Professor of Economics, here at UC Berkeley, starts off his book ‘The New Geography of Jobs’ contrasting California’s two cities, Menlo Park and Visalia. Back in 1969, they had comparable income levels and high-paying jobs. But since then, these cities have diverged. Visalia has one of the lowest average salaries in America, while Menlo Park, and the broader Silicon Valley, has the second-highest average salary in the US with its high paying tech employers. Continue Reading

UC Berkeley’s policy decisions this past spring around remote learning in response to the coronavirus pandemic elicited a wide range of reactions from my peers. One of my classmates, Dick, was ecstatic as he opted for the Passed/Not Passed grading option for all of his classes—saving his GPA from completely tanking. Many of my graduating friends, on the other hand, were despondent as their last semester at Berkeley was cut short, leaving them prematurely saying goodbye to all their friends and the place they had called home for four years. Continue Reading

With the current coronavirus situation looming large in headlines, it seems to be at the forefront of everyone’s minds. Along with this latest wave of COVID-19 related panic, you may have heard of the mass-panic induced toilet paper shortages in Japan and Australia, or even seen the mad rush for supplies yourself at your local Costco. But what is really going on? Will civilization devolve into a lawless wasteland where raiders fight over boxes of tissues?Continue Reading