Panem et circenses: on the macroeconomics of the pandemic

Vol. 41 No. 2 (2021)

Apr-Jun / 2021
Published March 30, 2021
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))
PDF-Portuguese (Português (Brasil))

How to Cite

Souza, Francisco Eduardo Pires de. 2021. “Panem Et Circenses: On the Macroeconomics of the Pandemic”. Brazilian Journal of Political Economy 41 (2):236-53.

Panem et circenses: on the macroeconomics of the pandemic

Francisco Eduardo Pires de Souza
Professor do Instituto de Economia da Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro – UFRJ, Rio de Janeiro/ RJ, Brasil.
Brazilian Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 41 No. 2 (2021), Apr-Jun / 2021, Pages 236-253


This paper is about the consequences of pandemics on the macroeconomic behavior, with an empirical analysis of such effects on the Brazilian economy. Two features of the macroeconomic of pandemics are highlighted: the emergence of a dual economy, in which we have the coexistence of a sector where consumption and production are impaired by public health policies, side by side with a full employment sector; and a large redistribution of income between the public and the private sectors. Regarding the latter, we found that the redistribution had strong effects on the flows of savings in the Brazilian economy, and consequently on the stocks of net wealth: there was a sharp rise in public debt and an increase in private net wealth of 12% of GDP.

JEL Classification: E01; E21; E25; H51.

Keywords: Pandemics macroeconomics macroeconomic effects of COVID-19 in Brazil public debt and private savings in pandemics