Questions and answers about coronavirus and the UK economy

Questions and answers about coronavirus and the UK economy

New PostLessons from history

How do large-scale pandemics affect inequality?

Research on past pandemics suggests that they can have significant effects on inequality and poverty. But while the Black Death triggered a systematic decline in wealth inequality in medieval Europe, the Spanish flu of 1918-19 led to rises in both poverty and income inequality.

Health, physical & mental

News: The end of the beginning?

While the number of UK Covid-19 cases remains worryingly high, particularly in the light of reports that the NHS could be weeks from becoming overwhelmed, by some measures there have been improvements. But while the vaccine may quell the pandemic, its economic effects will remain for years to come. Is this the end of the beginning?

Business, big & small

Have government policies helped small firms cope with coronavirus?

Small firms around the world have been hit hard by the Covid-19 crisis. While governments have mobilised substantial resources in support, many measures have had limited effect, in part due to smaller enterprises struggling to access information on relief loans.

Energy & climate change

‘Backyard wildlife’: has the pandemic reconnected us with nature?

As lockdowns have changed the ways in which people spend their time and money, many have made a priority of engaging with the local natural environment. This has led to investments in nature, increases in wildlife populations – especially birds – and improvements in wellbeing.

Prices & interest rates

Do we need a new constitution for central banking?

The global financial crisis, persistently weak growth and now Covid-19 have created tensions between politics and central banking. The time is ripe for a refreshed constitution, making clear the purpose of independent central banks, and what should fall to fiscal authorities.

Science, technology & innovation

How is Covid-19 affecting firms’ adoption of new technologies?

Fears that the impact of the pandemic on technology adoption will exacerbate the UK’s problem of persistently weak productivity growth are not necessarily justified. Recent evidence gives cause for cautious optimism, as many firms try to ‘innovate their way out of the crisis’.

Covid-19: Paying for the pandemic

All Answers