Research Area

The Economics of Covid-19

A heat map of the world which marks the Coronavirus outbreaks.

We are focusing our attention on two key questions:

Why don't the temporary COVID-19 policies reduce the amount of infections, according to the SIR model of epidemics? And what is our evaluation of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme?

Dr Yikai Wang asks the following question: Why do almost all simulations using SIR model of epidemics conclude that the COVID-19 temporary policies cannot reduce total infections and in the long run breakout will end up with a large fraction of the population infected, often more than 60%? Under which conditions those results hold, and is it possible to find realistic conditions and sustainable policies that prevent these pessimistic outcomes?

A second topic, explored by Dr Alexander Clymo with Dr Piotr Denderski, is the evaluation of so called “Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme”. This scheme encourages firms not to fire workers or go bankrupt, which will make the recovery easier since we do not need to rebuild firms or rehire workers after the crisis, which is costly. Alex and Piotr evaluate the benefit of this policy in a state-of-the-art economic model in which workers climb a job ladder model with learning about match quality and incomplete asset markets. The authors expect results within one or two months.

View our list of members below and learn more about their individual research interests by visiting their staff profiles:

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Chair of Research Area Dr Yikai Wang
Department of Economics, University of Essex
Departmental Director of Research Dr Rosella Argenziano
Department of Economics, University of Essex