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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.

Prosocial behavior in the time of Covid-19: the effect of private and public role models

In public good provision and other collective action problems, people are uncertain about how to balance self-interest and prosociality. Actions of others may inform this decision. We conduct an experiment to test the effect of private and public rol...
Lead investigator: Martin Abel

Remittances in the time of Covid-19. Evidence from Mexico

Remittance flows to low-and middle-income countries are one of the main contributors to economic growth and development. Since mid-1900s, these flows have exceeded official aid by a factor of three and they overtook foreign direct investment flows to...
Primary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Secondary Topic: Nations, regions & cities
Lead investigator: Lelys Dinarte

Well-being, religious beliefs and virtual relations at the time of Covid-19 lockdown

Covid-19 social distancing and lockdown are affecting individual lifestyles. We created a socio-economic survey addressed to a representative sample of the Italian (N=1,000) and US (N=1,400) population, focusing on three aspects of this phenomenon. (...
Primary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Lead investigator: Luigino Bruni

“Do governors lead or follow? timing of stay-at-home orders”

I use daily Google search data on the keyword ``Coronavirus" to track early resident interest in the novel Coronavirus pandemic. I ask whether governors are responding to heightened interest (i.e., following) or if their decisions are independen...
Lead investigator: Bryan C. McCannon

Solidarity and fairness in times of crisis

In a large-scale survey experiment, we examine how the Covid-19 pandemic causally affects key components of people's moral perspective. We investigate whether the crisis moves people towards solidarity, how it affects their attitudes to inequali...
Lead investigator: Alexander W. Cappelen

The Covid-19 bailouts

US policy makers responded to the Covid-19 epidemic by providing $1.8 trillion in private sector bailouts. We collect data on all bailouts for publicly-listed firms, document empirical facts of the bailout programs and discuss policy implications. Mo...
Primary Topic: Business, big & small
Lead investigator: Jean-Marie Meier

Explaining governors’ response to the Covid-19 pandemic in the United States

What is the response of US governors to the Covid-19 pandemic? In this research note, we explore the determinants of implementing stay-at-home orders, focusing on governors’ characteristics. In our most conservative estimate, being a Democratic gov...
Lead investigator: Leonardo Baccini

Coronavirus perceptions and economic anxiety

We provide one of the first systematic assessments of the development and determinants of economic anxiety at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. Using a global dataset on internet searches and two representative surveys from the US, we document a...
Lead investigator: Thiemo Fetzer

Poverty and economic dislocation reduce compliance with Covid-19 shelter-in-place protocols

Shelter-in-place policies reduce social contact and mitigate the spread of Covid-19. Inconsistent compliance with social distancing creates local and regional interpersonal transmission risks. Using county-day measures on population movement derived ...
Lead investigator: Austin L. Wright

The Covid-19 pandemic: government vs. community action across the United States

Are lockdown policies effective at inducing physical distancing to counter the spread of VIVID-19? Can less restrictive measures that rely on voluntary community action achieve a similar effect? Using data from 40 million mobile devices, we find that...
Lead investigator: David Van Dijcke

Epidemic spreads of Covid-19 narratives and their effect on financial phenomena.

We identify and retrieve the most salient Covid-19 narratives and their evolution over time via text mining on daily open-ended questionnaires sent to US stockholders since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. This data is complemented with over 3...
Primary Topic: Business, big & small
Lead investigator: Daniel Borup

Social distancing, internet access and inequality

We use data provided by Safegraph for the purposes of studying the spread of Covid-19 during February, March 2020 and the first week of April 2020. This data is derived from a panel of around 19 million devices that collect anonymous location data. E...
Lead investigator: Lesley Chiou

Viral narratives: evidence from media outlets during Covid

Culture provides heuristics for decision-making that are developed as part of the evolutionary process (Richardson and Boyd, 1985, Nunn 2015). In this project, we aim to trace the evolution of narratives as a particular form of heuristic regarding th...
Secondary Topic: Lessons from history
Lead investigator: Arthur Blouin

Rationing social contact during the Covid-19 pandemic: transmission risk and social benefits of US locations

To prevent the spread of Covid-19, some types of stores and gathering places have been shut down while others remain open. The decision to shut down one type of location and leave another open constitutes a judgement about the relative danger and ben...
Lead investigator: Seth Benzell

U.S. state Covid-19 stay at home orders: were they driven by scientific, economic, or ideological factors?

What factors affected whether or not a U.S. state governor issued a statewide stay-at-home order in response to the Covid-19 pandemic of early 2020? Once issued, what factors affected the length of this stay-at-home order? Using duration analysis, we...
Secondary Topic: Recession & recovery
Lead investigator: Lea-Rachel Kosnik

Labor market outcomes and time use during the Coronavirus outbreak

This project will study labor market outcomes and time use by US households during the 2020 Coronavirus outbreak. We are particularly interested in the effect of the outbreak on three interrelated areas. First, how did the outbreak impact labor marke...
Secondary Topic: Families & households
Lead investigator: Alexander Bick

Political beliefs affect compliance with Covid-19 social distancing orders

Social distancing is vital to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. We use geolocation data to document that political beliefs present a significant limitation to the effectiveness of state-level social distancing orders. Residents in Republi...
Lead investigator: Marcus Painter

The role of inter-temporal biases in influencing individuals’ demand for social distancing

We examine the economic determinants for social distancing in the context of Covid-19. Previous economics studies document the important role behavioral biases could play in inter-temporal decision-making. Viewing health in an inter-temporal framewor...
Secondary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Lead investigator: Plamen Nikolov

Political polarization, social fragmentation, and cooperation during a pandemic

We study the impact of political polarization on the willingness of people to comply with social distancing directives during the Covid-19 pandemic. We find a reduced compliance with these measures when the state governor differs from the preferred p...
Lead investigator: Boriana Miloucheva

How does household spending respond to an epidemic? consumption during the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic

We explore how household consumption responds to epidemics, utilizing transaction-level household financial data to investigate the impact of the Covid-19 virus. As the number of cases grew, households began to radically alter their typical spending ...
Primary Topic: Families & households
Secondary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Lead investigator: Scott R. Baker