VoxEU & CEPR Coverage of the Covid-19 Global Pandemic

Sofoklis Goulas, Rigissa Megalokonomou, 01 August 2021

Understanding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on education requires a solid grasp of the impact of student autonomy on learning. This column examines the impacts of an innovative policy in Greece that provided higher-performing students with more autonomy. Targeted students missed more classes, while lower-performing students’ attendance remained unchanged. The autonomy policy was used more by students in academically diverse classrooms, and is associated with increased performance only in high-stakes subjects for targeted students.

Olivier Coibion, Dimitris Georgarakos, Yuriy Gorodnichenko, Geoff Kenny, Michael Weber, 31 July 2021

The former chair of the US Council of Economic Advisers, Christina Romer, observed that “uncertainty has almost surely contributed to a decline in spending,” while discussing the Great Recession. This column provides direct causal evidence from a randomised control trial implemented on a large sample of European households that the “almost surely” can be safely dropped. Higher uncertainty makes households spend less on average.

Simon Angus, Kadir Atalay, Jonathan Newton, David Ubilava, 31 July 2021

The underrepresentation of some groups in academic economics is a source of concern, with most attention focused on the lack of racial and gender diversity. This column looks instead at geographic diversity of economics journals, and finds that editorial power is highly concentrated in the US, while the Far East is hugely underrepresented. Within economics, the diversity of journals varies across fields.

Pamina Koenig, Sebastian Krautheim, Claudius Löhnert, Thierry Verdier, 30 July 2021

With economic globalisation facing a legitimacy crisis fuelled by various scandals associated with globalised value chains, advocacy NGOs and their campaigns are in the limelight. Still, little systematic knowledge has been generated on how global sourcing and exporting decisions of firms interact with the upsurge of this international social activism. This column uses a unique dataset on NGO campaigns against firms to show how the internationalisation and geographical structure of NGO campaigns are closely intertwined with patterns of global production and trade. 

Charles Goodhart, 30 July 2021

A predominant example of moral hazard is the application of limited liability to the shareholders of publicly listed private-sector corporations. This column argues that changing the incentives for senior employees and majority shareholders for listed firms may be the most effective form of regulation. The author suggests that creating a system where managerial staff and other shareholders are incentivised to adhere to best practice to protect themselves, as well as the firm in question, is optimal.

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