Coronavirus research: Impact on society and the economy
The ARL has set up an inter- and transdisciplinary ad hoc working group on "Pandemics and Spatial Development", which brings together expertise from the fields of spatial development and planning, public health services, medical geography, epidemiology/public health and economics as well as the social sciences. The spatially relevant findings on the effects of the pandemic in Germany and the related measures were bundled into a position paper for a crisis prevention perspective and condensed into recommendations for action.
The upcoming ARL Congress 2021 is dedicated to the spatial impacts of the pandemic. As a hybrid event, the Congress offers an inter- and transdisciplinary discussion forum on the spatial effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Scientists and practitioners exchange ideas on new uncertainties, but also on spatial measures to strengthen resilience in four thematic areas.
The Leibniz Research Network "Spatial Knowledge for Society and Environment (Leibniz R)" analyses social, ecological and economic processes and their interactions in their spatial contexts. This year's Spatial Science Colloquium, entitled "Spatial Development and Corona - An Interim Balance," will be held in Berlin in spring.
The DIPF wants to contribute with research, digital infrastructure and knowledge transfer to better cope with the challenges for education in the wake of the Corona pandemic. One example of this research is the "STECCO" project. It examines the hurdles and opportunities created by Covid-19 for first-year students. Under the title "Education in Times of Corona", various dossiers in German language on the German Education Server provide comprehensive information for teachers, school administrators, parents and students. Events organized by the DIPF - such as the lecture series "Children at Risk" held in early 2021 - focus on the lessons learned from the pandemic. The team of an ongoing project has developed a digital vacation program for primary school children with learning deficits in reading, writing, or arithmetic. In addition, the Institute's experts are involved in numerous professional statements and media contributions. Last but not least, the comprehensive knowledge transfer of the DIPF includes the book "Schule weiter denken” (in german language as well). It is about the learnings from the pandemic.
In March 2020, the Georg Eckert Institute for International Textbook Research (GEI), a member of the Leibniz Association, expanded its research in the field of digital educational media to monitor how digital media are being used during the school closures/COVID-19 and to support schools and families with home schooling. The LernDiWa project and the ‘Leibniz Science Campus – Postdigital Participation – Braunschweig’ are conducting ethnographic research to monitor the transformation in schools during the pandemic. The ‘Discourse of EdTech’ project is analysing discourse about the virus, school and digital media.
The DIE takes up the topic of Corona in various formats. Here are a few examples:
Issue 3/2021 of the "Zeitschrift für Weiterbildungsforschung" is dedicated to the impact of the corona pandemic on adult and continuing education. It asks how adult education is affected by the pandemic and identifies initial trends in certain aspects. Initial findings are also available. The studies collected in the issue refer in their database to the early phase of the pandemic in the spring and summer of 2020.
The DIE Trend Analysis 2021 highlights the status quo of adult and continuing education in Germany and at the same time presents a basis for decisions in education policy and practice. One chapter is dedicated exclusively to the consequences of the corona pandemic for education.
In 2021, DIE and BIBB published the wbmonitor 2020 survey "Corona – Effects on Continuing Education Providers". Questions were raised concerning the training provided during the first lockdown, the staffing situation, and state aid, among other things. An assessment of the economic situation was also requested.
An online study on "Media Use During Corona" examined the links between the perceived threat of the coronavirus, media use, and perceived and actual awareness of COVID-19. The results are published in the journal "Frontiers in Psychology".
The German Institute for Economic Research (DIW Berlin) is investigating the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on various sectors of the economy and society. DIW aktuell updates covering topics relating to the coronavirus pandemic are currently appearing several times a week. Topics covered so far include key occupations, the impacts of school closures, the different effects on the employment of men and women, and analyses of measures in the fields of economic, monetary, climate, housing market and fiscal policy. In addition, through the Joint Economic Forecast, DIW Berlin is attempting to predict the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic for Germany, in part through comparisons with previous economic crises.
With its expertise in global developments and multilateralism and its profound knowledge of the regions of the Global South, the German Institute for Global and Area Studies / Leibniz-Institut für Globale und Regionale Studien (GIGA) is analysing the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic in order to contribute to political solutions. The governments of Europe are responding to the crisis in different ways. The measures implemented vary considerably and are being weighed up against the economic consequences of the crisis and impacts on citizens’ freedoms. Countries in the Global South are also reacting in different ways. Large parts of Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East are seriously affected by the virus. The crisis may necessitate a fundamental rethink of globalisation. What effect does it have on democracy versus authoritarianism? And on human rights and security, on inequality within and between societies? How will it affect growth and development? The coronavirus pandemic raises a large number of social, political and economic questions that fall within GIGA’s research remit.
The IWH Bankruptcy Update published by the Halle Institute for Economic Research (IWH) provides robust figures for bankruptcies of private and public limited companies across Germany considerably faster than the official statistics. The reliable leading indicator enables observers to make a broad assessment of the situation, especially in view of the coronavirus crisis. The IWH analyses bankruptcy notices from the German courts and combines this data with balance sheet information for the companies concerned. Thanks to the longstanding expertise concentrated in the IWH Bankruptcy Unit, the institute has become one of the leading German institutions in this field. The IWH Bankruptcy Update appears at the start of each month.
“Theory” is prone to speaking in the present tense. Yet, this is a metaphorical present tense that actually claims to be above time. The COVID-19 pandemic as state of exception invites us to re-examine this present tense and to render visible the inevitable ties of theory to current events. The claustrophobic situation of lockdown has revealed an uncanny correlation between theory and phobia, each seeking retrospective confirmation in reality. Through this correlation the state of lockdown, in which cultural-theoretical thinking was stuck anyway, becomes visible to itself as in a mirror. By way of an “ethics of occurrence,” Henning Trüper creates an inventory of the problems and lessons to which the theory of morality and related fields, in particular, are exposed in the “school of the pandemic.”
Henning Trüper: Seuchenjahr
Kleine Edition 33
August Verlag, Berlin 2021, 176 pages
DOI: 10.52438/avaa1002 (Open Access)
The Leibniz Research Centre for Working Environment and Human Factors (IfADo) has launched a diary study on coronavirus-related home working. As part of the diary study, the team is investigating adaptation processes among employees who are not used to working from home.
The ifo Institute for Economic Research is calculating the economic costs of the coronavirus pandemic and the associated lockdown measures. It is also developing lockdown exit strategies and economic measures to stabilise the economy again quickly and effectively. The monthly ifo economic survey provides a unique data basis for this, with up-to-date data on the mood in the German economy and other important indicators concerning Germany’s economic developments. In addition, researchers at all ifo centres are analysing numerous other aspects of the coronavirus crisis, such as global value chains and supply bottlenecks, public finances, effects on schoolchildren’s performance, particularly in relation to socioeconomic differences, a possible increase in domestic violence, the potential of working from home to keep business activities going, effects on individual sectors, implications for the climate and emission levels, and many more aspects.
The Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel) is investigating the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the economy and growth. Its activities include the publication of quarterly economic forecasts (Kiel Economic Outlook) for the global economy, the eurozone and the German economy. In addition, it regularly publishes Policy Briefs with brief analyses of the global economic consequences of the pandemic.
The Coronavirus Data Monitor shows continually updated indicators from which it is possible to draw conclusions about economic activity in Germany and Europe and the spread of the pandemic. This means it provides indications of how companies and people are responding to the far-reaching constraints imposed by governments, and to any easing of restrictions.
Department IV (Regimes of the Social Sphere) of the Leibniz Centre for Contemporary History (ZZF) conducts research on health systems during emergencies, in particular in situations of war, dictatorship and economic crises, and on the handling of epidemic infectious diseases in the 20th century and the consequences of socio-political cost-cutting and reform processes for the performance of health systems.
The Leibniz Institute for Educational Trajectories (LIfBi) is conducting coronavirus surveys, including as part of the National Educational Panel Study (NEPS). With the aim of investigating long-term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic over the course of a lifetime, all adults were invited to take part in an online survey in May this year and will also be asked respond to the next surveys about the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. The focus is on everyday learning practices during the coronavirus pandemic and changes in the use of learning materials and media for school and personal and professional training, as well as participation in the job market and education. By linking the survey to past and future surveys and competence test data from the representative German studies, NEPS offers the necessary longitudinal information to investigate the long-term impacts of the current situation on various aspects, including the digitalisation of learning, the development of social educational inequality and consequences for a wide range of educational outcomes.
The Leibniz Institute for Financial Research (SAFE) has worked with an international team of finance experts to draw up a proposal to support small and medium-sized businesses that have been affected by the coronavirus lockdown measures. The aim is for affected businesses to receive equity-like payments from a European Pandemic Equity Fund instead of more loans, which would exacerbate the debt problems. Through the Household Crisis Barometer, researchers at SAFE and Goethe University Frankfurt are working with Nielsen in Frankfurt to investigate changes in consumer and savings behaviour in the population as a result of the coronavirus crisis. SAFE is also one of the founding institutes of the Frankfurt Interdisciplinary Debate, alongside the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (HSFK/PRIF). The aim of the interdisciplinary blog is to involve voices from different disciplines in the coronavirus debate.
The Corona crisis contributes in an unprecedented way to a re-figuration of public communication, therefore the specifics of media use, journalism and the journalism/audience relationship in the Corona crisis will be investigated by the HBI in the projects “Pioneer Journalism“, “Audience Relations“ and “Public Connection“. In the DFG-DACH project “Journalism under Duress”, in 2022 a representative survey among journalists will include several references to the Corona pandemic, such as its impact on journalistic working relationships and personal security aspects.
As part of the BMBF project “Media and Science Communication“, HBI researchers gained insights into how scientific knowledge is selected, evaluated and communicated to the media in times of uncertainty, ambiguity and high performance pressure through a research stay at the Science Media Center Germany, an important player in science journalism in Germany
Another project for the BMBF was dedicated to “Communication in Times of Crises“. It investigated how information behaviour changes in crisis situations such as the Covid 19 pandemic, what role actors from science, politics and the media play and how uncertainty is countered
The HBI is also involved in the annual “Reuters Institute Digital News Report“; in 2020, additional data was collected that captures news usage under corona conditions.
The practice of content moderation in election campaigns on social media during Corona was the focus of a project on Platform Governance in the Super Election Year 2021.
The Leibniz Institute for Psychology (ZPID) is involved in the COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring project (COSMO) alongside the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM) and the Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research (LIR). COSMO analyses trends to do with coronavirus risk perception and knowledge in Germany: how do people perceive the coronavirus risk, what protective measures are they aware of and are they practising, and what sources do they use to obtain information? The research is being carried out by an international consortium led by Prof. Cornelia Betsch at the University of Erfurt.
More than any other pandemic before, COVID-19 has been measured and mapped. It is striking that although the course of the COVID-19 pandemic corresponds to the known temporal wave pattern, these waves spread spatially in different ways. The new DFG-funded research project of the IRS “Socio-Spatial Diffusion of COVID-19 in Germany (CoDiff)” has been working on this point in order to gain new insights into the spatially non-linear course of the COVID-19 pandemic. The researchers involved in the project are using the existing tempo-spatial data situation to gain new insights into the spatial spread of epidemic outbreaks.
The project comprises three analytical steps: First, a phase model will be developed that divides the course of the pandemic in Germany into different phases using indicators at the national level and regional level. Secondly, small-scale spatio-temporal segments or “trajectory windows” will be classified. For each phase of the pandemic, an attempt will be made to distinguish different relevant types of traectory windows. Third, the patterns identified in the previous steps are examined from the conceptual perspective of diffusion theory.
By analysing which types of diffusion patterns were relevant in which phase of the pandemic, insights will be gained into how the geographies of spread changed over the course of the pandemic in light of changing conditions. The CoDiff project also aims to contribute to diffusion theory, including to make recommendations for policy measures that directly target spatial diffusion.
The Leibniz Institute for Resilience Research (LIR) is currently conducting several studies and research projects on COVID-19. The COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring project (COSMO) is analysing psychological stress, as well as risk perception and knowledge of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in Germany. Within the DynaMORE project, an EU project led by the LIR, it is investigating the psychological stress in the general population (everyone can take part online or via an app) and in health professions.
In the LORA COVID Study, 500 of 1,200 test subjects from the Longitudinal Resilience Assessment (LORA) of Collaborative Research Centre 1193, which has been running for about two years, are asked each week about stress, resilience and psychological strain during the coronavirus crisis. The LIR also offers an online training course for strengthening resilience called ‘Auf Kurs Bleiben – Kompakt’. In addition, the institute provides support and recommendations for dealing with the psychological consequences of the coronavirus pandemic.
The IPN's research focuses on educational processes related to mathematics and science. Because school plays such an important role in these educational processes, the IPN also has a special focus on schools during the Corona pandemic. The IPN is monitoring the changes in schools triggered by the Corona pandemic with its research. In the KwiK study, school principals are asked about school in times of the Corona pandemic and about their approaches to distance learning. In another study, school principals, teachers, parents and students are asked about distance learning. Questions about the instructional quality of distance learning are focused on and linked to other characteristics of teachers and students. The IPN has also explored the question of how challenged teachers are by the Corona pandemic and provides research-based information for teachers, parents, and education administrators on distance learning. The project MaCo – Mathematics catching up after Corona offers training courses and materials for teachers and instructors.
How does the corona crisis influence our language? Which words play a special role at the moment? How can we methodically approach the observation of current language change processes? In language glosses and scientific contributions, IDS staff members comment on currently observable tendencies and present methodological approaches. In the project "Neuer Wortschatz", for example, the newly emerging vocabulary around the corona pandemic is being documented. The word list is available online. The program area “Lexik empirisch und digital“ is examining the following question by means of the recently developed tool cOWIDplus analysis: To what extent does the corona crisis limit the vocabulary of German-language online press? The cOWIDplus Viewer can be used, among other things, to explore frequency curves for words from the underlying database (RSS feeds). Via press activities, the IDS’s researchers communicate these current research methods and findings across Germany, Europe and the world.
On the occassion of the Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 Outbreak in Germany, GESIS - Leibniz-Institute for the Social Sciences launced a special survey and has collected longitudinal data. Here you find further information on the data.
The Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Transition Economies (IAMO) is investigating expected restrictions on agricultural exports as a result of border closures due to COVID-19, the impacts of the pandemic prevention measures on the dynamics and resilience of food supply chains, and the impacts of the economic knock-on effects of the coronavirus crisis on international agricultural trade relations and food supply in selected countries with a low per-capita income. In addition, the IAMO is studying adaptations to food consumption in China and Germany as a result of the coronavirus crisis (consumer preferences and diet-related health as a result of the pandemic prevention measures).
In the field of business ethics, the IAMO is considering how social distancing in the event of pandemics can be organised more efficiently and how negative (socio-psychological and economic) impacts of social distancing can be reduced. The IAMO also studies the resilience of agricultural businesses in times of crisis.
The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) researches how urban areas and regions need to transform in order to protect individual and collective health in the long term against global environmental risks and their negative impacts. This covers projects on initiating and managing participatory adaptation and transformation processes (e.g. City of the Future, HeatResilientCity and TransVer) and the development and assessment of structural planning concepts (including density, landscape and the circular economy) and a broad spectrum of individual measures. In the context of the pandemic, key factors are the accessibility and quality of ecological infrastructure and nature-based solutions (e.g. BIDELIN), air quality (e.g. SAUBER), the local/regional supply of resources (e.g. KartAL IV) and food (e.g. Edible Cities), and the synergies between them. The institute is also actively involved in the Leibniz Research Alliance on Crises in a Globalised World.
A study at the IOER found that urban community gardens contributed to social resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic. Urban community gardens provided a space for physically distant social interactions during the first year of the pandemic. This research draws from and subsequently contributes to the existing literature on social resilience provided by community gardens during and after a crisis event. The research paper can be accessed here.
The international research project on ‘Life with Corona’ is investigating the economic, social, political and health aspects of life during the coronavirus pandemic for people all over the world. The questionnaire is available in over 25 languages. The project is designed to give a better understanding of how people are experiencing this unusual situation and how they are dealing with the pandemic and the associated measures. The online survey is being conducted by an international team of researchers and volunteers led by the IGZ in association with the International Security and Development Center (ISDC) in Berlin, the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER) in Helsinki and the University of Konstanz.
LwC-Africa aims to generate new evidence and policy guidelines on how African citizens respond to and cope with the profound global shock to their lives and livelihoods caused by Covid-19.
The LwC-Africa project will build on the unique Life with Corona online survey to advance understanding of how the pandemic is affecting health, food, work, gender and social cohesion outcomes in order to better prepare communities and governments to respond to the challenges ahead as the pandemic spreads across the continent.
The Leibniz-Institut für Wissensmedien (IWM) is investigating the role and use of media in the various contexts that are proving to be particularly challenging during the pandemic. For instance, it is researching the use of media for stress management during the pandemic and, in particular, the extent to which communication from virologists such as Christian Drosten (Charité), Jonas Schmidt-Chanasit (BNITM) and others is influencing knowledge and preventive behaviour on social media and traditional media channels. It is also investigating the effect of conspiracy theories in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic on individual implementation of measures and asks what communication strategies can be used successfully to counter the effects of conspiracy theories. In addition, the IWM portal eteaching.org has designed a short online course on online teaching (‘Quickstarter Online-Lehre’) for university and college lecturers who have had to restructure their classes because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Leibniz Peace Research Institute Frankfurt (PRIF) is especially active in various formats in the field of knowledge transfer with reference to the Corona pandemic (including media contributions, blogs and events). The focus is on the social and the peace related consequences of the pandemic as well as on the specific dynamics of crisis. The Peace Report 2021 contains analyses of the consequences of the pandemic, especially for the global South. Researchers at PRIF are coordinating the "Corona Monitor” which is focussing on social transformations during the corona-crisis. The Leibniz Research Alliance "Crises in a Globalized World" collaborates with the CoronaNet Research Project, which documents corona policies globally. Based on this cooperation, further projects on the political management of crises are in planning. Further research foci of PRIF on the pandemic include the implications for civil society action and activism, effects of the pandemic on bioweapons control and biosecurity, and the importance of international institutions for crisis management.
The RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research is also conducting research on COVID-19. The RWI is forecasting hospital capacity utilisation and analysing excess mortality in times of pandemics and specifically during SARS-Cov-2. In addition, the RWI is studying the impacts of government interventions in various European countries and around the world on the spread of the virus and on other areas, such as climate protection. It is also studying the impacts of the pandemic in developing countries, especially on the local economy. In addition, it is exploring the impacts of the pandemic and the responses to it (lockdown, social distancing, etc.) on domestic violence against women and children in Germany.
How is the corona pandemic changing our everyday lives? And how will it affect us in the long term—both as individuals and as a society? The study “The Spread of the Coronavirus in Germany: Socio-Economic Factors and Consequences” (SOEP-CoV) aims to answer these questions. The study is being led by researchers at the University of Bielefeld and the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at DIW Berlin. The data come from more than 12,000 individuals who have been interviewed by telephone since the beginning of April. SOEP-CoV is embedded in the longitudinal SOEP household study, which has been running since 1984.
How many people have already been infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19? How many cases have gone undetected? What groups have a higher likelihood of infection? Researchers at the Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP) at DIW Berlin and the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) are investigating these questions as part of the study “Living in Germany—Nationwide Corona Monitoring”.
The WZB Berlin Social Science Center has launched a survey on how the coronavirus pandemic is changing everyday life. The WZB regularly provides considerations and analyses from social research on the topic of coronavirus and its impacts via a knowledge-sharing tool. In addition, the WZB runs a weekly online colloquium on sociological perspectives of the coronavirus crisis, most recently with over 160 participants.
Further WZB surveys are taking place on ‘Sociological Perspectives on the Corona Crisis: The Role of Transnational Mobility, Social Networks and Ethnic Diversity’, on correlations between social and political characteristics of societies and the spread of the pandemic, and on differences between authoritarian/technocratic and democratic/participatory forms of governance in European and East Asian crisis policies.
On behalf of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, the ZEW – Leibniz Centre for European Economic Research is investigating the consequences of COVID-19 for the labour market against the background of the digital transformation. In particular, the focus is on the questions of whether investments in digitalisation make companies more resilient to crises, whether the coronavirus crisis spurs digitalisation processes and what effects the accelerated digital transformation has on the labour market. As part of the Leibniz ScienceCampus MannheimTaxation, ZEW analyses fiscal policy responses in the EU and the US, in particular crisis-enhancing measures that could hinder a speedy recovery of the economy, as well as the relationship between COVID-19 policy responses and country-specific features. It also assesses possible fiscal consolidation measures. In addition, the ZEW Innovation Survey, the IAB/ZEW Start-up Panel and the monthly ZEW Financial Market Survey sometimes have specific questions on COVID-19. Within the framework of the Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 884, ZEW is involved in a survey of the German Internet Panel on behaviour during the coronavirus pandemic. Other research projects deal, among other things, with the effects of the pandemic on individual industries and with the financial burdens of people in the crisis. ZEW has set up a theme page on the coronavirus crisis, which documents the current research activities of ZEW and its researchers on the effects of the COVID-19 crisis.