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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.

Assessing inequality in the school closure response to Covid-19

The spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) has caused school closures in more than 190 countries, affecting over 90% of the world’s student population. School closures can widen learning inequalities and disproportionately hurt vulnerable st...
Lead investigator: Xiqian Cai

Moral suasion and the private provision of public goods: evidence from the Covid-19 pandemic

We study how moral suasion that appeals to two major ethical theories, Consequentialism and Deontology, affects individual intentions to contribute to a public good. We use the Covid-19 pandemic as an exemplary case where there is a large gap between...
Lead investigator: Moritz A. Drupp

Trade-offs in automated political advertising regulation: evidence from the Covid-19 pandemic

Digital platforms have experienced pressure to restrict and regulate political advertising content. This paper presents evidence of unintended consequences of restrictions on political ads related to the Covid-19 pandemic. We use data on more than 30...
Lead investigator: Grazia Cecere

Sustaining pro-social and environmental behaviours beyond Covid-19

Covid-19 has triggered a global economic shutdown, leading to unintended reductions in carbon emissions and other pollutants as a result of decreased travel and consumption. Although a global pandemic that has caused close to 400,000 deaths at time o...
Primary Topic: Recession & recovery
Secondary Topic: Energy & climate change
Lead investigator: Roger Fouquet

Trust in the healthcare system and Covid-19 treatment in the developing world – survey and experimental evidence from Armenia.

Covid-19 continues to spread across the globe at an exponential speed, infecting millions and overwhelming even the most prepared healthcare systems. Concerns are looming that the healthcare systems in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) are mos...
Primary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Lead investigator: Armenak Antinyan

The idiosyncratic impact of an aggregate shock: the distributional consequences of Covid-19

Using new data from the Understanding Society: Covid-19 survey collected in April 2020, we show how the aggregate shock caused by the pandemic affects individuals across the distribution in the UK. The survey collects data from existing members of th...
Primary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Secondary Topic: Jobs, work, pay & benefits
Lead investigator: Michaela Benzeval

Consumer expectations around Covid-19: evolution over time

Since Apr 24, 2020, we have been collecting direct information on consumers’ expectations about the duration of social distancing rules, including stay-at-home and social-distancing rules, and of business closures, in the United States and Canada. ...
Secondary Topic: Recession & recovery
Lead investigator: Fabian Lange

Shock salience and heterogeneity in individual behavior

We study heterogeneity in attitudes and behavior after the Covid-19 crisis in the population of international students across several university campuses in North America. More specifically, we study whether the response to the shock varies by field ...
Lead investigator: Livia Alfonsi

The heterogeneous labor market impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic

We study the distributional consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic's impacts on employment. Using CPS data on stocks and flows, we show that the pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing inequalities. Although employment losses have been widespread, ...
Lead investigator: Matias Cortes

Civic capital and social distancing during the Covid-19 pandemic

The success of non-pharmaceutical interventions to contain pandemics often depends greatly upon voluntary compliance with government guidelines. What explains variation in voluntary compliance? Using mobile phone and survey data, we show that during ...
Lead investigator: John M Barrios

Assessing impacts on and resilience to food insecurity amid the Covid-19 lockdowns in Nigeria

As of the end of May 2020, there have been over 9000 cases and over 260 deaths from Covid-19 in Nigeria and cases have been rising quickly in recent weeks. To prevent the spread of the virus, governments in multiple states have imposed lockdowns. Whi...
Primary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Secondary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Lead investigator: Elena M Martinez

Lives or livelihoods? perceived trade-offs and public demand for non-pharmaceutical interventions

We study the role of cost-benefit considerations in driving public demand for nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs) during the Covid-19 pandemic. In a large-scale online survey experiment with a representative sample of the US population, we introdu...
Lead investigator: Sonja Settele

Managing the Covid-19 pandemic in poor urban neighbourhoods: the case of Ghana and South Africa

The novel Coronavirus, Covid-19, and measures to combat it are expected to have a significant impact on the physical and mental well being of all people, but especially those living in poor urban neighbourhoods. We are conducting a panel phone survey...
Primary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Secondary Topic: Families & households
Lead investigator: Isabel Gunther

Community health care and Covid-19 pandemic: experimental evidence from Uganda

The limited capacity of the health systems in many low-income countries, especially in rural areas, suggests that the rapid spreading of the Covid-19 virus could have huge consequences in those areas. On top of the direct impact of the virus, a growi...
Secondary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Lead investigator: Martina Bjorkman-Nyqvist

Covid-19 and the demand for flexible annuities

The demand for voluntary lifetime annuities is low. Two potential driving mechanisms behind this phenomenon are uninsurable risk early in life and financial illiteracy. Covid-19 generates a large amount of uncertainty for workers. We measure preferen...
Lead investigator: Pim Koopmans

Promoting social distancing in a pandemic: beyond the good intentions

Reminders to promote social distancing have been ubiquitous throughout the Covid-19 crisis, but little is known about their effectiveness. Existing studies find positive impacts on intentions to comply, but no evidence exists of actual behavioural ch...
Secondary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Lead investigator: Paolo Falco

How online gig economy reshapes the international labour market amid Covid-19

Enabled by the Internet technology, online digital employment platforms have presented opportunities for employers and freelancers to find each other regardless of their physical locations and at lower administrative and search costs. The evolution o...
Secondary Topic: Business, big & small
Lead investigator: Yuan Gao

Tracking the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on the lives of American households

Since March 10, 2020, we have been tracking effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on respondents to the nationally representative Understanding America Study (UAS). After an initial survey that covered March 10-31 March 2020, we launched tracking surveys ...
Primary Topic: Families & households
Secondary Topic: Health, physical & mental
Lead investigator: Arie Kapteyn

Does the Covid-19 pandemic increase or decrease pro-sociality and does it shift donations towards more local causes?

Locally occurring natural catastrophes typically seem to increase international solidarity (Scharf, Smith, and Ottoni-Wilhelm 2017). The global spread of the Covid-19 is unprecedented such that it is not clear what types of behavioral responses it is...
Lead investigator: Maja Adena

Parental job loss and job insecurity during the Covid-19 pandemic and children’s outcomes

The aim of this research is to study how job loss and felt job insecurity due to the Covid19 pandemic are impacting factors that directly affect the cognitive and non-cognitive achievement of children: parental mental and physical health, income, tim...
Secondary Topic: Inequality & poverty
Lead investigator: Jenifer Ruiz-Valenzuela