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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.

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
Countries

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
Countries

Are palliative cash transfers effective to counteract the effects of stay-at-home orders? evidence from Peru

Several governments in LAC are increasingly imposing mandatory quarantines for all citizens to contain the expansion of the Covid-19 pandemic. These measures have proved to be the most effective to flatten the curve, but their downside are the econom...
Secondary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Lead investigator: Matthew Bird
Countries

Do cash transfers help sustain economic and psychological well-being in times of crisis – experimental evidence from Uganda

We evaluate the impact of cash grants offered to a random sample of rural households in Uganda on their economic and psychological well-being during the COVID19 crisis. The cash grants were provided shortly before the Government of Uganda ordered a n...
Primary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Secondary Topic: Families & households
Lead investigator: Kjetil Bjorvatn
Countries

Resilience to economic shocks through continued electricity access

As Covid-19 spreads, access to reliable electricity will be critical in allowing households and firms to continue productive activities, keep their phones charged, and stay up-to-date on public health guidelines. Government restrictions that are need...
Primary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Secondary Topic: Recession & recovery
Lead investigator: Catherine Wolfram
Countries

Staying close when apart: the value of “information communication” during Covid-19 pandemics

Information-sharing and communication are key features of pandemics. In particular, people share information about the outbreaks, communicate with family and friends—be it either for support or not, including employers—be it formal and informal e...
Primary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Secondary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Lead investigator: Francis Annan
Countries

The impact of emergency cash assistance during a pandemic: experimental evidence from Colombia

We evaluate the impact of cash relief for vulnerable households during a pandemic. On March 31, 2020, Colombia rolled out an unconditional cash transfer program to help low-income households deal with the economic consequences of the coronavirus pand...
Primary Topic: Recession & recovery
Lead investigator: Juliana Londoño-Vélez
Countries

The health and wellbeing impacts of Covid-19 among rural households in Bangladesh

To curb the spread of the Covid-19 Bangladesh started a countrywide lockdown from late March 2020, which resulted in business closure and disruption of economic activities bringing the livelihood of millions of people, particularly those in the low-i...
Primary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Lead investigator: Asadul Islam
Countries

Covid-19 and the future of microfinance: evidence and insights from Pakistan

The Covid-19 pandemic threatens lives and livelihoods, and, with that, has created immediate challenges for institutions that serve affected communities. We focus on implications for local microfinance institutions in Pakistan, a country with a matur...
Primary Topic: Business, big & small
Secondary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Lead investigator: Kashif Malik
Countries

Showing life opportunities: Covid-19 rapid response survey

More than 1.5 billion students have to stay at home due to Covid-19 school closures, more than 90% of total enrolled learners (UNESCO, 04.01.2020). To ensure learning continuity, students have to study at home. However, it is unclear how the students...
Secondary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Lead investigator: Igor Asanov
Countries

Youth empowerment in Bolivia

We evaluate a program that aims to help vulnerable youth aged 15-18 find a job, improve their working conditions and strengthen their income generation capacity. In order to achieve these goals, the program, which is implemented in four regions of Bo...
Lead investigator: Selim Gulesci
Countries

Trust in the state and citizen cooperation: evidence from Pakistan

In the context of the Covid-19 pandemic, we are conducting a randomized controlled trial in Pakistan. We aim to test the effectiveness of different information treatments designed to increase citizens’ trust in the government, specifically the gove...
Lead investigator: Adnan Khan
Countries

Mapping the impact of Covid-19 on the distribution of youth-led businesses in Kenya

The Covid-19 pandemic is expected to impact economic activity in Kenya in many ways. Currently, there is a national curfew from 7 pm to 5 am with only essential services permitted to be open and extremely limited mobility. These conditions are likely...
Primary Topic: Business, big & small
Lead investigator: Julian Jamison
Countries

The impact of Covid-19 on food and nutrition security in Bangladesh

The Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) has created a major health and economic crisis globally. As of April 11th, there were almost 1.7 million confirmed cases and more than 100,000 reported deaths due to the virus. The first Covid-19 case was confirmed ...
Primary Topic: Families & households
Secondary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Lead investigator: Akhter Ahmed
Countries

Inequality in the impact of the coronavirus shock: new survey evidence for the US

The briefing notes provide new evidence on inequalities in the economic impact of the Covid-19 downturn using survey data that the authors collected from a large representative sample of US workers on 24th March 2020. We find significant inequality i...
Secondary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Lead investigator: Abi Adams-Prassl
Countries

Understanding the response to and recovery from the Covid-19 crisis among informal sector workers in urban India

In an ongoing randomized control trial, we study the impact of social networks on take-up of an aggregator service in Delhi, India that provides information on jobs, with subsequent implications on women and their spouses’ employment outcomes, inco...
Lead investigator: Farzana Afridi
Countries

Constraints to female entrepreneurship in Pakistan: the role of women’s goals and aspirations

We are running a field experiment with female entrepreneurs who have all borrowed from a microfinance organization in Punjab, Pakistan. We test whether an intervention that exposes women to successful role models, and encourages goal setting, plannin...
Primary Topic: Business, big & small
Secondary Topic: Families & households
Lead investigator: Giovanna D'Adda
Countries