LBS and Wheeler Institute join new ECO Covid-19 initiative

LBS economists and prominent figures from the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development play leading role in The Economics Observatory (ECO)

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Academics from London Business School and the School’s Wheeler Institute for Business and Development have joined a new cross-institutional initiative set up by the UK’s economic research community to answer questions from policy-makers and the public about the economics of the Covid-19 crisis and the recovery.

The Economics Observatory (ECO) provides non-partisan advice to decision-makers across all parts of society and the business community concerning the challenges and choices they face while managing the crisis and executing plans for recovery.

The ECO will draw on expertise from LBS’s Economics faculty and the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development to gather and evaluate the best possible data and evidence, and use these as a foundation for a comprehensive body of articles, and questions and answers.

Hélène Rey, Lord Bagri Professor of Economics, professors Lucrezia Reichlin, Paolo Surico, Andrea Galeotti, Andrew J Scott, Richard Portes, together with Professor Elias Papaioannou, co-academic director of the Wheeler Institute for Business and Development at London Business School, are among a team of leading contributors from LBS who are contributing to this initiative.

Professor Papaioannou, said: “The UK is searching for clarity and instructive leadership to overcome the unprecedented challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic. The world-leading research and intellectual leadership offered by London Business School will try to help understanding and responding to the crisis. We are particularly keen working with colleagues across UK leading academic institutions addressing, as well as we can, people’s many questions on the pandemic. Alongside participating in this initiative, the Wheeler Institute has launched a Covid-19 series UK edition, where leading scholars discuss major issues of the UK economy and society: role of fiscal and monetary policy, implications of the pandemic for UK business’ strategy and management, lessons for the NHS, among others.”

The ECO is funded by the Economic and Social Research Council. Drawing on the expertise of economists from a wide range of universities and research institutions, it gathers and evaluates the best available evidence to support Q&A briefings on the observatory’s website.

Economic research is key to understanding and responding to the challenges of the pandemic and its impact on businesses, communities and institutions. The briefings and responses given on the ECO site have been prepared to help policy-makers, businesses, the media, the public, students and teachers who are concerned about the economics of Covid-19 and the consequences for businesses, households, organisations, and its impact on public policy.

The ECO launched with 40 briefings, and plans to publish as many as 200 in the coming months, responding to specific needs and the momentum of ongoing debate.

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