Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics

Coronavirus and the UK Economy Discussions

Professor John Gathergood has contributed to a number of articles in the Economics Observatory, which provides a forum for Q and A about Coronavirus and the UK economy.  Here are some of the articles, which have been written at various times throughout the pandemic and updated, as appropriate.  

What will be the impact of the crisis on household finances?
The Covid-19 crisis is causing a deep recession and generating a shock to household finances which is hitting some households much more than others. The policy response in support of household finances has been radical, both in using extensive fiscal support to insure household incomes, and swift regulatory changes to amend the terms and conditions of financial contracts between lenders and households. It remains unclear what the long-run effects will be.

How should the government support households with unpayable debts? 
In the now seemingly likely event of a slow recovery from the Covid-19 recession and high levels of unemployment, the government will need schemes to manage insolvency for households at risk of being unable to pay their debts. This article discusses what types of support could be most effective.

Might Coronavirus bring a lasting shift to online spending? 
During the national lockdown in March, online spending naturally became a bigger share of total UK household consumption.  While offline spending rose after restrictions eased, there is early evidence of a ‘new normal’ in which online spending is roughly 25% higher than its pre-pandemic level.

How can authorities control Coronavirus without killing the economy?
Severe restrictions introduced in response to Covid-19 have disrupted economic activity, especially retail, services and hospitality. Evidence from local lockdowns suggests that it is possible to control the virus without resorting to measures that damage the economy.

Posted on Monday 16th November 2020

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