In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, leading UK economists have joined forces to create a website that seeks to answer policy-makers’ and interested members of the public’s questions about the coronavirus crisis and our recovery from it.
The Economics Observatory (ECO) is a cross-institutional initiative supported by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
The UK is in the midst of a global pandemic and currently at the start of what will probably be the deepest recession in living memory. Government, business and citizens face the daunting task of navigating a route through uncharted territory. Sound, non-partisan advice is needed to inform decision-makers across all parts of society, from government to individuals, about the choices they face in dealing with the crisis and the recovery.
It can be difficult for policy-makers and the public to interpret the key evidence, but economic analysis will be crucial. The ECO will act as a hub to bring together research from across economics to answer policy questions on the pandemic and the economic recovery in a way that is easy to understand.
ESRC’s Executive Chair, Professor Jennifer Rubin, said: “COVID-19 is an unprecedented challenge for those who need to make decisions – whether that’s in government, workplaces or all of us in our own homes. ESRC is proud to support the Economics Observatory, to bring together world-class economists to assess the wealth of existing information so that we are better informed, to make better decisions on managing the present crisis and ensuring a good recovery.”
The articles on the website are written for policy-makers, the media, the public, students and teachers who are interested in the economics of Covid-19 and the implications for households, organisations and public policy.
The ECO will bring together economists from institutions all over the country to help to write the individual answers, and they have assembled a strong team of lead editors, including ESRC Council Members, Diane Coyle and Rachel Griffith, as well as many other ESRC-funded academics who will help to steer the direction of the initiative.
View the short introductory short film below.