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the economy.

The impact of lockdowns on socio-economic attitudes

We examine the immediate impact of the nationwide lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic on the socio-economic attitudes of our societies. Before and after the enforcement of lockdowns, we conducted large-scale surveys with 20,000 individuals in four European countries: France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. We investigate the impact in three different categories: i) perception of economic risks (e.g., economic insecurity and effects of globalization), ii) political views (e.g., trust in domestic and foreign institutions), and iii) social dispositions (e.g., social loneliness). Our initial results show that the lockdowns intensified the concerns about income risks and the perils from globalization. These trends towards more pessimistic views are driven by certain groups. Women, older people and people with a large number of children are more worried about their incomes in general, and these negative feelings were amplified with lockdowns. The same holds for the degree of social loneliness and the political views. Women and seniors feel more socially isolated, trust institutions less and are more prone to populism. Once again, we document that the lockdowns amplified these tendencies. Furthermore. lockdowns increased the trust in institutions by the unemployed but reduced it for the self-employed. In Spain, the lockdown decreased trust in international institutions and enhanced populist tendencies. In UK, respondents show more openness towards immigration and less appreciation of authoritarian values after the lockdown; the latter result was also found for Germany.

Lead investigator:

Kerim Peren Arin


Zayed University

Primary topic:

Attitudes, media & governance

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Type of data being collected:

Online survey

Unit of real-time data collection


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