Samia Islam, associate professor of economics, was quoted in the Idaho Press story “Treasure Valley housing demand is still strong, but pandemic creates ‘a lot of unknowns’.”
“Forecasting is going to be much more challenging than normal. Models can’t predict outcomes of panic and fear,” Islam said in an email to the paper. “Besides, even finding reliable current data right now is challenging. Some economists have suggested that in the absence of similar events from recent history (the last time the U.S. contended with a contagion was in 1918), we can perhaps draw parallels to natural disasters.
“But even those are generally short-lived phenomena,” she said, “and the degree of uncertainty – including duration – is much greater in a pandemic.”