UVA Darden Professors Consider Permanent Post-COVID Changes

By Dave Hendrick

The latest issue of the Virginia Economic Review features contributed commentary from two University of Virginia Darden School of Business professors. The issue, titled “America After COVID-19,” considers the long-lasting and potentially permanent impact of the coronavirus pandemic and includes pieces from Professor Peter Debaere and Professor Vivian Riefberg.

Debaere, a professor in the Global Economies and Markets area, wrote an article titled “The Coronavirus May Change Supply Chains in Unexpected Ways,” questioning whether the pandemic will lead to a rush to “reshore” certain modes of production to the United States.

Wrote Debaere, “The poor handling of the pandemic — we have the highest number of cases and deaths, lagged testing and uncoordinated reopening — makes our country a source of risk.”

Vivian Riefberg

Professor Vivian Riefberg

Riefberg, who recently joined Darden and is the first to hold the David C. Walentas Jefferson Scholars Foundation Professor after retiring as a director at McKinsey & Co., wrote “The Long-Term Impact of COVID-19 on Health Care.”

Riefberg’s piece considers seven potentially permanent changes to health care in the U.S. The changes most likely to be permanent will be those that address an unmet need in either supply or demand, satisfy consumers in better ways, and increase the alignment of economic incentives. Riefberg discussed the possibility of addressing affordability through new incentive models, for instance.

“The U.S. health care system is expensive, with great variability and uneven coverage,” wrote Riefberg. “Action on value-based payment is here to stay to address the affordability, variability and coverage challenges irrespective of the health challenge.”

Read the full magazine.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business delivers the world’s best business education experience to prepare entrepreneurial, global and responsible leaders through its MBA, Ph.D., MSBA and Executive Education programs. Darden’s top-ranked faculty is renowned for teaching excellence and advances practical business knowledge through research. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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