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QUESTIONS to ANSWER

Below we list a number of outstanding research questions related to the economics of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Contagion management

Pros and cons of different strategies: What options are available and how to evaluate them?
  • Can suppression and social distancing backfire?
  • Do different strategies imply risks or threats to the democratic principles?
  • Estimating the infection rate is crucial for the choice of strategy: can we put some bounds on it?
  • QALY analyses to trade off policy choices.
  • Can differences in elderly care organization across municipalities explain differential death rates among the elderly?
  • Do countries display herding behavior in policy choices?
  • What would be the optimal strategy in absence of a vaccine? And what with a short immunity period?
  • What is a fair mechanism to allocate a vaccine among different countries?

Economic policies

Can we put numbers on how much the economy is affected? Do we have ideas on how to deal with some of the disruption?
  • How big are current disruptions in value chains?
  • Available policy options to manage the recession, during and after the pandemic.
  • Forecasting economic activity: how fast can we expect retail and ervices to rebound?

Developing countries

How will developing countries be affected by the pandemic directly, and by richer countries' policies indirectly?

Criminal activity

Restrictions to mobility and changes in economic activity might have an impact on different criminal activities.

- Do we see any impact in crime statistics? What types of crimes are affected?

- Are criminal networks taking over bankruptcy-riddled sectors?  

- Do we see an impact of lockdown on domestic violence?

Labor market and education

Deep changes were forced on the way we work and learn, some may be permanent. What are the consequences?

- Is productivity affected by remote working? How does this interact with the availability of child care?

- What are the distributional effects of layoffs?

- How much is sick leave used, and by whom? In particular in crucial sectors?

How does distance work affect the labor market returns to social networks?

- Is there a gender dimension to these questions?

- How are rates of infection and fatalities among teachers and their families as well as among the families of school children?

- How will quality and inequality in learning be affected by homeschooling, and by the absence of national testing? How will educational choices and labor market entry be affected?

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