COVID-19 Research Round-Up

Academics in the Department of Economics and Related Studies have been hard at work over recent months, producing cutting-edge research that helps to illuminate a range of issues relevant to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here is a round-up of all the articles that our staff members have published on this topic so far in 2020.

“The Coming Storm: Design of Active Labour Market Policies”
As the government announces more traineeships, Paul Gregg and Emma Tominey look at a range of possible active labour market policy responses to help reduce the scar to youth from The Coming Storm.

“Assessing the impact of COVID-19 on global fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions”
Vanessa Smith, Nori Tarui, and Takashi Yamagata assess the impact on global fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions over a two-year horizon, using a global vector autoregressive model under alternative GDP growth scenarios that are based on IMF forecasts before and after the outbreak. Results show that recovery to pre-crisis levels is expected even if another wave of the pandemic occurs within a year, with emerging economies anticipated to experience more robust growth than advanced economies. They also suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic would not provide countries with a strong reason to delay climate change mitigation efforts.

“Health, work and Covid-19”
Mark Bryan, Andrew Bryce, Nigel Rice, and Jennifer Roberts investigate how lockdown has disproportionately affected people with chronic health conditions and disabled people.

“The COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on inequality of opportunity in psychological distress in the UK”
Apostolos Davillas and Andrew M Jones explore how inequality in psychological distress has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK. However the proportion of inequality explained by observed individual circumstances has decreased. Pre-pandemic, the largest contributors to explained inequality were financial, employment, and housing conditions. By April 2020, age and gender accounted for a larger share, through the impact of the pandemic on mental wellbeing among young people. Working in COVID-affected industries, household composition and parental occupation have also increased their association with the inequality in psychological distress.

“Children’s socio-emotional skills and the home learning environment during the Covid-19 crisis”
In a Vox article, Gloria Moroni, Cheti Nicoletti, and Emma Tominey suggest that socio-emotional issues in children will be amplified if their home environment is stressful, and propose some ways that governments can mitigate that stress and support struggling families.

“How might the crisis affect children from poorer backgrounds?”
In a piece for the Economics Observatory, Emma Tominey uses economic evidence to understand how COVID-19 will affect children from poorer backgrounds. The evidence suggests that these children are disproportionately harmed by loss of income, by mental health problems, and will suffer the greatest learning losses from school closures.

“Coronametrics: the UK turns the corner”
Adam Golinski and Peter Spencer have been using time series econometrics to analyse and forecast the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic. This early paper used these techniques to detect the turning point in the UK epidemic.

“Modeling the COVID-19 Epidemic Using Time Series Econometrics”
In this subsequent paper, Adam Golinski and Peter Spencer analyse the evolution of the pandemic since the peak in a range of countries. They note that the classic ‘logistic’ model used by many epidemiologists to model epidemics has provided a realistic model of the behaviour of COVID-19 in China and many East Asian countries. Once these countries passed the peak, the daily case count fell back, mirroring its initial climb in a symmetric way, just as this model predicts. However, in most Western countries the daily count has fallen back gradually from the peak but remained stubbornly high. Adam and Peter take an empirical stance on this issue and develop a model that includes a long upper tail in the time series. With the possible exception of China, the classical model is decisively rejected against alternatives that are more flexible. Their one-month projections for the US and the UK are posted here on a daily basis.

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