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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.

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

Social distancing and pro-sociality in times of acute sanitary crisis

The health crisis generated by the Covid-19 disease, which is rapidly spreading worldwide through direct human contact, has called for strict measures to limit contagion that drastically reduce social interactions. We study whether the imposed confin...
Lead investigator: Fortuna Casoria

The youth and Covid-19: how to communicate effectively the emergency

At the beginning of the spread of Covid-19 in Italy, before the introduction of the lockdown “stay at home” measures in the whole country, in order to slow the rate of infection, the Government pushed for self-imposed measures of social distance ...
Lead investigator: Vincenzo Carrieri

Risk taking during a global crisis: evidence from Wuhan

We conducted a repeated survey on risk taking behavior across a panel of subjects in Wuhan, China – ground zero of the Coronavirus pandemic – before and after the outbreak began. Our baseline survey was administered on October 16th, 2019 among gr...
Lead investigator: Di Bu

The impact of cash in a crisis: evidence from Dandora, Kenya during and after Covid-19

This study will deliver cash grants to microenterprise owners run by women in Dandora, Kenya during the Covid-19 outbreak. We will use a randomized controlled trial to study the impact of cash on economic outcomes both during and after the crisis. Al...
Secondary Topic: Recession & recovery
Lead investigator: Wyatt Brooks

Compliance with Covid-19 social-distancing measures in Italy: the role of expectations and duration

We study how intentions to comply with the self-isolation restrictions introduced in Italy to mitigate the Covid-19 epidemic respond to the length of their possible extension. Based on a survey of a representative sample of Italian residents (N=894),...
Lead investigator: Guglielmo Briscese

The causal influence of information about Covid-19 on laypersons trust in government, perception of their living conditions, and economic expectations

The current Covid-19 crisis has profound effects around the world. A potentially important factor for the perception of the crisis by laypersons appears to be the specific type of information they receive. Focusing on two emerging markets, Thailand a...
Lead investigator: Bernd Hayo

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

Risk and time preferences under the lockdown

There exist increasing evidence that human preferences—including risk and time attitudes—change across contexts (Bowles, 1998; Barseghyan et al., 2011; Wolbert and Riedl, 2013; Wang et al., 2016). Since measuring preferences consistently over tim...
Lead investigator: Pablo Branas-Garza

Emotional states and the Covid-19 pandemic: evolution, national differences, and their relationship with emergency policies

We propose to study the effect of Covid-19 on the emotional states of people in OECD and other countries by applying content analysis to internet searches recorded via Google Trends since 31 December 2019. Our aim is to understand how emotional state...
Lead investigator: Zhiming Cheng

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

Asset price expectations during the financial crash of the Covid-19 pandemic

We measure daily price expectations about the share prices of six well-known publicly traded companies in the U.S. in an incentivized online experiment for a period of three months. Coincidentally, our experiment started on 19/02/2020, just one day b...
Secondary Topic: Prices & interest rates
Lead investigator: Carlos Cueva

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

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

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

Covid-19 and investor behavior

In the beginning of January 2020, the Chinese authorities identified a novel type of the coronavirus, which rapidly spread from China all over the world. The World Health Organization characterized the spread of the novel coronavirus officially as a ...
Secondary Topic: Prices & interest rates
Lead investigator: Regina Ortmann

Locked-down in a welfare state: visible costs and hidden gains

I exploit the variation related to lock-down measures put in place in Italy (March 9, 2020) and Norway (March 12, 2020), to estimate the aggregate net costs for the government budget from unemployment insurance (defined as the most important building...
Secondary Topic: Jobs, work, pay & benefits
Lead investigator: Roberto Iacono