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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.

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...
Lead investigator: Kate Brain

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

The geography of post Covid-19 shutdown recovery risk in UK economic activity. implications for recovery inequality and targeted stimulus

The Covid-19 shutdown is not affecting all parts of the UK equally. Economic activity in local consumer service industries (LCSI), such as retail outlets, restaurants, hairdressers, or gardeners has all but stopped; other industries are less affected...
Primary Topic: Recession & recovery
Secondary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Lead investigator: Jesse Matheson

Reducing the unanticipated crime harms of Covid-19 policies

The Covid-19 crisis is changing the shape of crime. Drawing on crime science, this research will inform evidence-based policy and practice. we will anticipate crime effects of prolonged, graduated or cyclical exit strategies. We will use (1) national...
Primary Topic: Crime & policing
Lead investigator: Graham Farrell

Real-time evaluation of the effects of Covid-19 and policy responses on consumer and small business finances

The project involves the creation of a new real-time economic characterisation of consumer and firm behaviour from mass transaction data. Specifically, the work will evaluate impact on consumer finances (reduced incomes, non-payment of debts, pattern...
Primary Topic: Business, big & small
Lead investigator: Neil Stewart

Necessary discussions: advance care planning for nursing homes in a Covid-19 outbreak

It is likely that nursing homes in the UK will become clusters in their communities for the worst clinical manifestations of Covid-19 (1). Since all nursing home residents are at substantial risk, nursing home care staff need to know what residents w...
Lead investigator: Kevin Brazil

Covid-19: what are the drivers of the Islamophobic infodemic communications on social media

The research project will examine the interaction between miscommunications and conspiracy theories in relation to key factors such as anonymity, membership length and peer groups, within the context of the current Covid-19 pandemic on social media. ...
Lead investigator: Imran Awan

Covid-19: The local as a site of food security resilience in the times of pandemic: opportunities, challenges and ways forward.

The Covid-19 pandemic has significantly impacted on the UK’s food systems, and disruptions are likely to continue. There is emerging evidence that the local food sector (local food producers and their supply chains) can significantly contribute to ...
Primary Topic: Trade & supply chains
Secondary Topic: Business, big & small
Lead investigator: Anna Krzywoszynska

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...
Secondary Topic: Families & households
Lead investigator: Soo Downe

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

Covid-19 app store and data flow ecologies

Mobile phone applications (apps) have emerged as a key part of the response to Covid-19 around the world and are a feature of UK government plans to manage ‘phase two’. While raising concerns from privacy and security to the adoption rates requir...
Lead investigator: Michael Dieter

Assessing financial vulnerability and risk in the UK's charities during and beyond the Covid-19 crisis

This research will provide an analysis of the variegated impacts on charities of the very severe financial constraints they will experience due to the immediate and longer-term economic effects of the Covid-19 crisis. Building on our extensive prior ...
Primary Topic: Charities & volunteering
Lead investigator: John Mohan

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 ...
Lead investigator: Richard Bentall

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 ...
Secondary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Lead investigator: Michaela Benzeval

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

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)....
Lead investigator: Nayeli Gonzalez-Gomez

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

Impact of Covid-19 on staff mental health and well-being in SMEs: strategies and interventions to support workforce and boost productivity in the UK

Covid-19 pandemic has led governments globally to respond with unprecedented lockdown and economic measures to combat spread of the disease, and support workers and businesses. The pandemic presents a real threat to small and medium sized enterprises...
Secondary Topic: Jobs, work, pay & benefits
Lead investigator: Prasanta Kumar Dey

Food system impacts of Covid-19

This research will examine the extent of continuity and dislocation in the supply chain across dairy products, meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, and fish. They will look at instances of radical changes in routes to markets and the barriers to change;...
Primary Topic: Trade & supply chains
Secondary Topic: Business, big & small
Lead investigator: D. Michael Winter

Disabled people and Covid-19 in the UK

Disabled people are vulnerable to health and social impacts of Covid-19. For many, their support needs and their impairments make them more susceptible to the condition and increase the risk of mortality. This qualitative study will explore disabled ...
Secondary Topic: Charities & volunteering
Lead investigator: Tom Shakespeare