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Written on 1 Jun 2020 by Professor Diane Coyle

Observatory to answer key policy questions on the economics of the COVID-19 crisis

The Bennett Institute is one of the founding supporters of the new Economics Observatory, a UK-wide cross-institutional initiative that seeks to answer questions from policy-makers & the public about the economics of the coronavirus crisis and the recovery.

The UK is currently at the start of what will probably be the deepest recession in living memory. The government faces the daunting task of navigating a route through uncharted territory. Sound and 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. 

Economic research is essential to understand and respond to this massive challenge.  But it can be difficult for policy-makers and the public to access and interpret the key evidence and to understand where there is – and is not – consensus in the economics research community. We will explain where there is consensus, where there is intelligent debate and disagreement, and where we just don't have the answers (whether it is because of a lack of data or fundamental challenges of answering the question).

Drawing on expertise from a wide range of research organisations and Universities, including Cambridge, and with funding from the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), the Observatory will gather and evaluate the best possible data and evidence and use these as the basis for a large series of published Q & A briefings (‘articles’). The articles 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 Economics Observatory (ECO) website launched on 2 June 2020

Professor Diane Coyle is one of the Observatory’s lead editors, and Matthew Agarwala and Dimitri Zenghelis of the Bennett Institute, and the Institute’s visiting fellow Flavio Toxvaerd are early contributors. The editor-in-chief is Romesh Vaitlingam.

Funded by:

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  • About the author

    Professor Diane Coyle, Inaugural Bennett Professor of Public Policy

    Professor Coyle co-directs the Institute with Professor Kenny. She is heading research under the progress and productivity themes.   Learn more

    Diane Coyle 2018