(Undergraduate Thesis) Understanding Real Economic Activity During COVID-19 Using a Dynamic Factor Model Decomposition

I comparatively study the performance of three public macroeconomic monitoring indexes (ADS, CFNAI and WEI) during the Pandemic Recession and find that they all indicate a very deep but also very short recession (trough at May 2020). Using the algorithm of Kalman filter, I construct my own macroeconomic monitoring index with four monthly indicators. As many economic indexes exhibited wild movements during COVID-19, to understand why this happened, I further illustrate two methods for decomposing my economics index into movements of underlying economic indicators.

Evaluating Early Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in India from Nightlights

Using a difference-in-differences design, I study the differential economic impacts in India at the district level under varying lockdown measures with nightlights data. My results show that districts with strict lockdown rules experienced a 14% greater reduction of nightlights radiance in April and a 24% greater reduction in May relative to districts with loose lockdown rules. Moreover, I document India's sharp transition into the lockdown period using NASA's latest daily nightlights data for a two-week window around the lockdown announcement.