Politics and economics

Sascha O. Becker, Lukas Mergele, Ludger Woessmann, 05 April 2020

The year 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the reunification of West and East Germany. German separation in 1949 into the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic and its reunification in 1990 offer a unique setting of a rather unexpected introduction and termination of a communist regime in one part of a previously and afterwards unified country. However, this column argues that this period of German history is not a completely straightforward ‘experiment’ from which to learn about the effects of communism.

Anniek de Ruijter, Roel Beetsma, Brian Burgoon, Francesco Nicoli, Frank Vandenbroucke, 26 March 2020

An initiative to create centralised control of medical countermeasures at the EU level would solve many coordination issues in times of crisis. However, a unified European response faces a number of legal and political obstacles. This column uses a survey conducted before the COVID-19 outbreak to understand EU citizens’ attitudes towards a joint solidarity programme. It suggests considerable support already exists for an effective policy framework centralising the procurement, stockpiling, and allocation of medicines. 

Arnstein Aassve, Guido Alfani, Francesco Gandolfi, Marco Le Moglie, 22 March 2020

Long-term effects of a pandemic go well beyond the demographic losses. This column uses a representative survey of the US population in the aftermath of the Spanish flu to evaluate the permanent consequences of the pandemic on individual behaviour. It finds that social disruption during the period led to long-term deterioration in social trust, which had important economic consequences. The findings highlight the importance of a strong response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Danny Quah, 20 March 2020

In a VoxTalks special, Danny Quah tells Tim Phillips how Singapore defended itself against the health and economic impact of Covid-19, and what other countries can learn from its actions.

Find Danny's chapter  in the new VoxEU book Mitigating the Covid Economic Crisis.  Free to download here.

Stefanie Stantcheva, 20 March 2020

We think about political polarization as a disagreement about policies. But what if the voters can't even agree on the facts? Stefanie Stantcheva tells Tim Phillips about new research that has profound implications for democracy.

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