Questions and answers about coronavirus and the UK economy

A collective initiative by the economic research community to answer questions from policy-makers and the public about the economics of the Covid-19 crisis and the recovery

Is mental health among ethnic minorities worse affected by the pandemic?

Covid-19 is disproportionately affecting the physical and mental health of black, Asian and minority ethnic people in the UK, exacerbating existing inequalities. Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani men have suffered the highest increase in mental distress.

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How is coronavirus affecting the banking sector?

While the banking sector will be negatively affected by the pandemic, it is also critical for economic recovery. But the crisis will strengthen competitive pressures on banks by accelerating trends towards digitalisation and new financial service providers.

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How do lockdowns affect economic activity in developing countries?

The severity of lockdown measures has been similar across the world. But differences between developing and advanced economies in their sectoral composition and the size of the informal economy mitigate the economic damage in poorer countries.

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How might social isolation affect people’s wellbeing during the pandemic?

The policy response to Covid-19 has required the population to isolate themselves from most of their friends and families. While this has been necessary to contain the spread of coronavirus, it carries significant risks for other health and wellbeing issues, particularly mental health.

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What will the shape of the recovery tell us about the best policy response?

As lockdown restrictions ease, economic activity in the UK is beginning to recover. Will the economy bounce back to where it was before the onset of the Covid-19 crisis? Or will we be left dealing with the economic fallout of coronavirus for the foreseeable future?

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How will coronavirus and the recession affect UK immigration?

Recessions have an impact on net migration flows, the labour market outcomes of migrants and the effects of migrants on native outcomes. Migrant workers face particular challenges in the Covid-19 crisis given the industries and occupations in which many of them are employed.

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How is coronavirus affecting emerging markets and developing economies?

The output losses in low- and middle-income countries triggered by the Covid-19 crisis are likely to leave long-lasting scars, reducing potential growth. The UK is not insulated from the economic fallout due to trade links and financial exposure.

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How can we tackle widening gaps in literacy skills following coronavirus?

School closures in response to Covid-19 are expected to widen gaps in educational attainment, including literacy, for disadvantaged children. One way to mitigate this risk is through high quality reading programmes. How do schools know which interventions will be most effective?

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What will coronavirus mean for innovation by firms?

While some firms have introduced some important innovations in response to the crisis, the experience of past recessions suggests that innovative activities by the private sector are likely to be dampened for several years following the pandemic.

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In conversation with Mervyn King: radical uncertainty, coronavirus, and economic policy

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Funded by

UKRI Economic and Social Research Council
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