Research in the societal consequences of the Covid-19 Pandemic

When hit by the Covid-19 Pandemic we faced shocks to our income and our beliefs: What does this mean to our household income and retirement wealth, we thought? How will small and middle sized business cope with the international lock-down? Where do I go with all my questions and need for explanations? And what can we learn from history?

Stop corona. Photo: Colourbox

At the Department of Economics, UCPH, we search for answers to questions that arise from the Corona crisis. At this page we share the results on our Covid-19 related research - and build on the page as we go along. So stay tuned for the row of current and future results you will find here. 








Martin Gonzalez-Eiras (with Dirk Niepelt) contrasts the canonical epidemiological SIR model due to Kermack and McKendrick (1927) with more tractable alternatives that offer similar degrees of "realism" and flexibility. Martin and Dirk provide results connecting the different models which can be exploited for calibration purposes. They use the expected spread of COVID-19 in the United States to exemplify our results.

Read the research paper Tractable Epidemiological Models for Economic Analysis.



















Paolo Falco and Sarah Zaccagni

Reminders to promote social distancing have been ubiquitous throughout the COVID-19 crisis, but little is known about their effectiveness. Existing studies find positive impacts on intentions to comply, but no evidence exists of actual behavioral change.

We conduct a randomised controlled  trial  with  a  large representative sample  of Danish  residents,  who  receive different versions of are minder to stay home as much as possible at the height of the crisis. We are the first to measure impacts on both intentions to comply and on realised actions in the following days.

We  find  that  the reminder significantly  increases people’s intentions to stay home when it emphasizes the consequences of non-compliance for the respondent or his/her family, while it has not impact when the emphasis is on other people or the country as a whole.

Changes in intentions, however, translate into weaker changes in actions that are  not  statistically  significant.  This  is consistent  with  the  existence  of  important  intention-to-action gaps.

Only people who are in relatively poor health are significantly more likely to stay home after receiving the reminder with an emphasis on personal and family risks. This shows that while reminders may be useful to protect groups at risk by increasing their own compliance with social distancing, such a tool is unable to change the behavior of those who face limited personal risks but could spread the disease.

You can read the entire paper here.












Asger Lau Andersen, Emil Toft Hansen, Niels Johannesen, and Adam Sheridan

This paper uses transaction-level customer data from the largest bank in Denmark to estimate consumer responses to the COVID-19 pandemic and the partial shutdown of the economy. We find that aggregate card spending has dropped sharply by around 25% following the shutdown. The drop is mostly concentrated on goods and services whose supply is directly restricted by the shutdown, suggesting a limited role for spillovers to non-restricted sectors through demand in the short term. The spending drop is somewhat larger for individuals more exposed to the economic risks and health risks introduced by the COVID-19 crisis; however, pre-crisis spending shares in the restricted sectors is a much stronger correlate of spending responses.

The research is published in PNAS:

“Social distancing laws cause only small losses of economic activity during the COVID-19 pandemic in Scandinavia“
(Niels, Johannesen, Adam Sheridan, Asger Lau Andersen and Emil Toft Hansen)
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), 2020

And you can also read about the results in CEPR


















































Name Title Phone E-mail
Asger Lau Andersen Associate Professor +4535333133 E-mail
Casper Worm Hansen Associate Professor +4535336978 E-mail
Edward Samuel Jones Associate Professor +4535323038 E-mail
Jeanet Sinding Bentzen Associate Professor +4535324400 E-mail
Johannes Wohlfart Assistant Professor - Tenure Track +4535332061 E-mail
Morten Bennedsen Professor +4535334278 E-mail
Niels Johannesen Professor +4535324415 E-mail
Paolo Falco Assistant Professor - Tenure Track +4535334817 E-mail
Pol Campos-Mercade Postdoc +4535335954 E-mail
Sarah Zaccagni Postdoc +4535337860 E-mail