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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.

ESRC mental health research network

The Covid-19 Social Study is a panel study of the psychological and social experiences of adults in the UK during the outbreak of the novel coronavirus run by University College London. Over 75,000 people are currently participating in the study, com...
Primary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Lead investigator: Dr Daisy Fancourt
Countries

Transitions to more harmful forms of gambling during Covid-19 pandemic: behaviours and targeted marketing in young people and bettors on sport

Around 2 million people experience harms from gambling, and many gamble on live events (including sports) and online. The Covid-19 pandemic has precipitated unprecedented restrictions on people’s movements and interactions in public and private set...
Lead investigator: Kate Hunt
Countries

Responding to the Covid-19 domestic abuse crisis: developing a rapid police evidence base

The proposed project provides a near real-time evidence base to inform the police approach to the apparent surge in domestic violence and abuse (DA) triggered by the Covid-19 lockdown in the UK. Police case file data from seven diverse police forces ...
Primary Topic: Crime & policing
Secondary Topic: Families & households
Lead investigator: Katrin Hohl
Countries

Identity, inequality, and the media in Brexit-Covid-19-Britain

Covid-19 and Brexit are extraordinary social and political processes that are occurring simultaneously. These events are exposing the major inequalities that underpin British society across class, ethnic, national, migrant, generational and geographi...
Secondary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Lead investigator: Katharine Tyler
Countries

Covid -19; cancer attitudes and behaviour study

Background: the impact of Covid-19 on UK public attitudes towards cancer is likely to be considerable, translating in to impact on the NHS from delayed referrals, missed screening and later-stage cancer diagnosis. Aim: to generate rapid evidence base...
Primary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Lead investigator: Kate Brain
Countries

Facilitating the public response to Covid-19 by harnessing group processes

There is international recognition that effective response to Covid-19 is dependent upon the public acting collectively and for the common good. This is important in terms of adherence to preventative measures, which, especially for low-risk groups, ...
Primary Topic: Charities & volunteering
Secondary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Lead investigator: John Drury
Countries

DETERMIND-C19: impact of Covid-19 on people newly diagnosed with dementia and their family carers, a mixed method study nested in DETERMIND

People with dementia are at high risk of adverse outcomes from Covid-19 and may also be adversely affected by the steps taken by society to control the spread of the infection. They have difficulty remembering and understanding restrictions and preca...
Primary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Lead investigator: Sube Banerjee
Countries

Waste management during the Covid-19 outbreak: investigating a critical sector in crisis

The Covid-19 outbreak is transforming everyday household waste into a biohazard. Coronaviruses are transmitted person-to-person, however Covid-19 also persists on surfaces for several days (van Doremalen et al. 2020). Consequently, this pandemic is s...
Primary Topic: Business, big & small
Secondary Topic: Jobs, work, pay & benefits
Lead investigator: Angeliki Balayannis
Countries

Covid-19: Families, children aged 0-4 and pregnant women: vulnerabilities, resources and recovery in Tower Hamlets

Adverse impacts of the current Covid-19 pandemic will disproportionately fall on individuals and families at the lower end of the income distribution. The highly diverse population profile offers an opportunity to identify how families deploy their i...
Primary Topic: Families & households
Secondary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Lead investigator: Claire Cameron
Countries

A longitudinal mixed-methods population study of the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic: psychological and social adjustment to global threat

The impact of the Covid19 pandemic on public mental health will affect need for services, further progress or resolution of the pandemic and speed of economic recovery afterwards. Policymakers have emphasised the need for a whole population approach ...
Primary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Lead investigator: Richard Bentall
Countries

Covid-19: safety and personalisation for UK maternity care provision during and after a pandemic.

Annually, over 1,200,000 UK residents (pregnant women and neonates) need maternity care. All relevant authorities emphasise the critical importance of antenatal, intrapartum, postnatal and neonatal services, birth companionship, keeping mother/baby t...
Primary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Secondary Topic: Families & households
Lead investigator: Soo Downe
Countries

The impact of Covid-19 restrictions on recreation and use of green space in Wales

The use of green spaces for recreation has acknowledged benefits for physical and mental health, to the extent of reducing mortality rates [1]. Green spaces include parks and gardens in urban areas, and the wider countryside in more rural settings. T...
Secondary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Lead investigator: Julia Jones
Countries

Supporting fiscal policy decisions in the crisis

We are going through an economic crisis. The government has responded with an unprecedented policy package, costing many tens of billions of pounds over just a few months – paying for employees to be furloughed, making payments to the self-employed...
Primary Topic: Families & households
Secondary Topic: Recession & recovery
Lead investigator: Paul Johnson
Countries

The effects of social distancing policies on children’s language development, sleep and executive functions.

The environments children grow up in heavily influence key elements of cognitive development such as language and executive functions, which in turn associate with later educational and occupational attainment as well as health and wellbeing (1–8)....
Primary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Lead investigator: Nayeli Gonzalez-Gomez
Countries

Understanding Society Covid-19 study

Understanding Society has launched a new monthly survey to look at the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the UK population. This has been funded by ESRC though the study’s discretionary budget and a £200k award from the Health Foundation. The ...
Primary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Secondary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Lead investigator: Michaela Benzeval
Countries

A duty of care and a duty to teach: educational priorities in response to the Covid-19 lockdown

This research explores the challenges the Covid-19 crisis sets primary schools, using surveys and telephone interviews to analyse how teachers weigh a duty of care (for their pupils’ well-being and welfare) and a duty to teach (given their responsi...
Lead investigator: Gemma Moss
Countries

Covid-19: identifying effective remote literacy teaching methods for primary-aged children

This research project stems from a direct appeal from our UK teacher collaborators, who suddenly face having to teach pupils online, with scant training and patchy evidence on how to do so effectively. We aim to identify effective remote, evidence-ba...
Lead investigator: Manon Jones
Countries

The impact of Covid-19 on economic inequality and employment progression

The applicants have already collected novel survey data from a large representative sample of UK workers on 25th March 2020. We find large and significant differences in the impact of the economic disruption across workers of different income levels,...
Secondary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Lead investigator: Abigail Adams-Prassl
Countries

Child protection and social distancing: improving the capacity of social workers to keep children safe during the Covid-19 pandemic

This research will explore the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on child protection, social workers and service users, with specific reference to the novel use of digital technologies in a period of institutionalised social distancing.
Primary Topic: Charities & volunteering
Secondary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Lead investigator: Harry Ferguson
Countries

Covid-19: monitoring the effects of the pandemic on illicit online trade.

The pandemic has reshaped the demand for goods and services worldwide. Economic stress, the public health emergency and disinformation-driven panic have pushed customers, and vendors, towards the shadow economy. In particular, dark web marketplaces (...
Primary Topic: Crime & policing
Secondary Topic: Trade & supply chains
Lead investigator: Andrea Baronchelli
Countries