Questions and answers about coronavirus and the UK economy

Transport & infrastructure

Will coronavirus cause a big city exodus?

Big cities thrive because of the economic and social benefits of proximity – but proximity also helps to spread Covid-19. Does this mean an end to the big city revival of recent years? Much will depend on how quickly we exit the pandemic – and how far the forced experiments of lockdown translate into new norms.

Read more

Can the UK achieve net-zero emissions in a post-Covid-19 economic recovery?

Getting the greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change to ‘net-zero’ by 2050 will require significant technological advances. How can that ambitious goal still be achieved while ensuring employment and growth in the aftermath of coronavirus?

Read more

Can recovery from Covid-19 help transition to a zero-carbon economy?

There are many calls to use recovery from the Covid-19 recession to assist with the ‘climate transition’ to an economy in which emissions are no longer causing global temperatures to rise. Should policy on climate change and the aspiration for ‘zero-carbon’ be modified?

Read more

How have Big Tech and other digital platforms fared in the crisis?

While coronavirus and the policy response have led to an abrupt economic slowdown, lockdown has rapidly accelerated the spread of information technology. Are the internet giants winners or losers in this crisis? And what of other digital platforms, including Zoom?

Read more

What has Covid-19 revealed about the adequacy of UK digital infrastructure?

Lockdown led to an initial surge in internet traffic as many people switched to working from home – a shift that looks likely to persist. Can we rely on our digital infrastructure? And how big are the inequalities in access?

Read more

Why has coronavirus affected cities more than rural areas?

Why have big cities around the world become coronavirus hotspots, while many smaller towns and rural regions have suffered fewer cases and deaths? And what are the roles of urban density and social interaction when global pandemics become more common?

Read more

How will coronavirus affect the UK’s oil and gas industry?

The oil and gas sector is wrestling with the dual shock of Covid-19 and substantial falls in the oil price, some of which predated the crisis. What are the implications for the industry – and for exploration and development activity in the UK continental shelf?

Read more

What is the likely future role of the state in the UK economy?

Economic distress caused by the pandemic, the lockdown and the recession have required a big increase in public spending. How has the crisis affected the size of the state and the effectiveness of government policy?

Read more

Is this a good time to pursue environmental objectives?

Pre-crisis, the government committed to reaching ‘net zero’ emissions by 2050, safeguarding biodiversity and implementing a 25-year environment plan. These goals are no less important now: policy can be set both to boost the recovery and achieve longer-term environmental objectives.

Read more

Can policy steer us towards a greener and fairer recovery?

By acting fast, coordinated policy can create jobs and steer a resilient, inclusive and sustainable recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. The alternative of a prolonged global depression and unmanaged climate change would be profoundly damaging.

Read more

Funded by

UKRI Economic and Social Research Council
Skip to main content