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Current Research

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Economists from around the world are using real time data collection to better understand the impact the Covid-19 crisis is having on families, workers, firms and society, and how policies can help the recovery out of the crisis. Find out more about how these research teams are carrying out their projects, and what their findings are below.

Analysis of websites regarding firms’ reactions to corona pandemic in Germany

We analyze websites of about 1.3 Mio. firms in Germany twice a week searching for the term Corona and synonyms of it. Since our first collection of data on March 19th, 2020, the share of firms mentioning the pandemic raised by two percentage points w...
Primary Topic: Business, big & small
Lead investigator: Peter Winker

Using weekly financial and health diaries to track health and income effects of the Covid-19 outbreak and government response measures in rural Kenya

While the current number of Covid-19 cases is relatively limited in Kenya, the anticipation of Covid-19 arrives much earlier than any exponential growth of infections, and so do the measures in response to it. Even in the absence of Covid-19 cases, t...
Primary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Secondary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Lead investigator: Wendy Janssens

More than words: leaders’ speech and risky behavior during a pandemic

How do political leader’s words and actions affect people’s behavior? We address this question in the context of Brazil by combining electoral data and geo-localized mobile phone data for more than 60 million devices throughout the entire country...
Lead investigator: Nicolas Ajzenman

Food and nutrition security in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia during Covid‑19 pandemic

On March 13th, the first Covid-19 case was confirmed in Ethiopia. Three days later, the government closed schools, banned all public gatherings and sporting activities, and recommended social distancing. Other measures to contain the spread of the vi...
Primary Topic: Families & households
Secondary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Lead investigator: Kalle Hirvonen

Covid-19 pandemic, public attention, and policy responses

Despite all countries being affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the government's' responses have varied extensively in terms of speed, policy content, as well as the level of compulsion. We explore to what extent differences in the timing of...
Lead investigator: Cevat Giray Aksoy

Nowcasting Norwegian household consumption with debit card transaction data

The recent shutdown of significant portions of the worldwide economy, in order to restrain the outbreak of the coronavirus, has triggered a global recession. The uncertain consequences of the rapid spread of the virus and the induced infection contro...
Primary Topic: Recession & recovery
Lead investigator: Knut Are Aastveit

On the effects of Covid-19 on online labour markets: empirical evidence from Europe

In online labour market platforms, projects can be posted and completed anywhere in the world. They are – intensified by Covid-19 – at the core of the debate about the future of work and the conditions under which we work online. Using unique com...
Lead investigator: Frank Mueller-Langer

Shutdown policies and worldwide conflict

We provide real-time evidence on the impact of Covid-19 restrictions policies on conflicts globally. We combine daily information on conflict events and government policy responses to limit the spread of coronavirus to study how conflict levels vary ...
Primary Topic: Crime & policing
Lead investigator: Nicolas Berman

Market reactions to the arrival and containment of Covid-19: an event study

We study the short-term market reactions of US and European stocks during the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. Employing an event study, we document that stocks react significantly negative to the announcement of the first death in a given country...
Primary Topic: Business, big & small
Secondary Topic: Prices & interest rates
Lead investigator: Thomas Heyden

Birds of a feather lockdown together: mutual bird-human benefits during a global pandemic

Feeding backyard wildlife has impure public good characteristics – it can satisfy specific human motivations whilst also improving bird populations. We document a surge in human interest in connecting with wild birds during lockdowns to address the...
Lead investigator: Michael Brock

How the Covid-19 lockdown affected gender inequality in paid and unpaid work in Spain

The Covid-19 pandemic led many countries to close schools and declare lockdowns during the spring of 2020, with important impacts on the labor market. We document the effects of the Covid-19 lockdown in spain, which was hit early and hard by the pand...
Secondary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Lead investigator: Lidia Farre

Volatility shocks and investment behavior

We investigate how volatility shocks influence investments into a risky asset, perceptions about the asset’s risk, its future price/return development, and investor satisfaction. We run investment experiments mimicking volatility shocks with two su...
Lead investigator: Christoph Huber

Compulsory face mask policies do not affect community mobility in Germany

There is currently a heated debate about making face masks compulsory in public spaces to contain Covid-19. A key concern is that such policies could lead to risk compensating behaviour and thereby undermine efforts to maintain social distancing and ...
Lead investigator: Roxanne Kovacs

The economic effects of Covid-19 containment measures

Many countries around the world have implemented stringent containment measures to halt the spread of the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19) and limit the number of fatalities. Though crucial to slow the course of the pandemic, these measures entail...
Lead investigator: Pragyan Deb

Migration and the labor market impacts of Covid-19

Labor migration is a fundamental component of household income for a large number of households in many parts of the world, especially in poorer and more rural areas. Migrant households are hardest hit by Covid-19 mitigation policies as social distan...
Secondary Topic: Families & households
Lead investigator: Nathan Barker

Human behaviour, cultural narratives and the economy during and after Covid-19

This project focuses on the Culture-Based Development (CBD) aspects of the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic. It analyses cultural biases created through narratives and conveying old social constructs that generate socio-economic inequalities during an...
Primary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Secondary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Lead investigator: Annie Tubadji

The sooner, the better: the early economic impact of non-pharmaceutical interventions during the Covid-19 pandemic

The size of the economic shocks triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic and the effects of the associated non-pharmaceutical interventions have not been fully assessed because the official economic indicators have not been published. This paper provides e...
Primary Topic: Recession & recovery
Lead investigator: Asli Demirgüç-Kunt

The cost of staying open: voluntary social distancing and lockdowns in the us

In combating the spread of Covid-19, some governments have been reluctant to adopt lockdown policies due to their perceived economic costs. Such costs can, however, arise even in the absence of restrictive policies, if individuals' independent r...
Primary Topic: Recession & recovery
Lead investigator: David Van Dijcke

Measuring social distancing: an empirical analysis using geo-location data from smartphones

This research project uses anonymized geo-location data from 60 million mobile phone users in Brazil to quantify the impact of coronavirus lockdown measures on social distancing. The results confirm that the current share of the population staying ho...
Lead investigator: Tharcisio Leon

How effective are social distancing policies? evidence on the fight against Covid-19 from Germany

To fight the spread of Covid-19, many countries implemented unprecedented social distancing policies. This is the first paper that uses an event-study approach to examine the effects of the German social distancing policies on (a) individual behavior...
Primary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Lead investigator: Ulrich Glogowsky