IHS Resources Regarding COVID-19

The coronavirus not only influences the working situation at IHS, but also has an impact on the scientific work of the institute. What are the effects of the currently effective health policy measures, how will the crisis affect the economy and what evidence is available on individual measures such as short-time work?

These are but a few of the pressing questions, currently on the minds of all in Austria and in Europe. Researchers at IHS have taken on the quest to find timely and accurate answers. On this page we collect data, sources and media reports related to COVID-19, manifesting the work by our researchers.

Economic Consequences | Health Economic Aspects | Social Aspects | Selected Press Clippings


 

The Economic Consequences of the COVID-19 Outbreak

Current economic prognoses on the economic consequences of the COVID-19 outbreak are highly volatile and marked by a high uncertainty.

  • In the forecast of the Austrian Economy 2020-2024 IHS predicts high uncertainty and moderate growth due to the coronavirus crisis. In the current year, gross domestic product in Austria is likely to fall by a historic 7 ¼ %. However, the economic recovery should begin as early as the second half of the current year, and economic output should return to pre-crisis levels in the course of 2022. For the entire forecast period 2020 to 2024, IHS expects real GDP to increase by an average of ¾ % per year.
  • In a paper for the De Gruyter journal Perpektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik Thomas Czypionka, Martin Kocher and Alexander Schnabl deal with the measures against the COVID-19 pandemic and their effects on the economy in Austria.
  • In regular Policy Briefs, IHS estimated the economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, taking into account the most recent developments regarding, among other things, social distancing measures, public aid funds or labor market developments. In the latest update (based on data available by May 12), we estimate a GDP-loss of EUR 35,7 billion for Austria in 2020.
  • In a policy brief Jan Kluge shows that the countryside is at least as badly affected by the COVID-19 crisis as cities.
  • Times of great change and high uncertainty require experiments. Since behavioural economics has a lot of evidence-based knowledge to contribute for ways out of the crisis, especially in the current situation, the VBEN (Vienna Behavioral Economics Network) will be continued digitally for the time being. Martin Kocher and behavioural economist Gerhard Fehr (CEO FehrAdvice & Partners AG, Zurich) discuss ways out of the crisis in a regular, digitally held, dialogue event. All episode can be rewatched on the VBEN-YouTube channel.
  • The Joint Economic Forecast, published by the leading German economics research institutes, was published on April 8 and predicts a 4,2 percent GDP-drop. IHS participates in the biannual forecast as a partner of RWI - Leibniz Institute for Economic research.
  • In a policy brief, researchers from the International Institute for Applied System Analysis (IIASA), the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU), the Austrian Institute of Economic Research (WIFO), and IHS have created different scenarios of the effects of economic measures to tackle the COVID-19 crisis in Austria using a macroeconomic model developed at IIASA. The team’s results show that it could take up to three years for the Austrian economy to recover from the shock caused by the restrictions and return to its original, pre-COVID-19 trend.
  • Behavioural economics can make an important contribution to coping with the current COVID-19 pandemic. In the Insight Austria-Blog employees of the competence centre give practical examples in regular articles. Martin Kocher gives a behavioural economics perspective on the corona crisis and Anna Walter deals with the question how behavioural economics can promote hand hygiene.

Health Economic Aspects of COVID-19

IHS research group Health Economics and Health Policy was among the first research groups in Austria to investigate the COVID-19 pandemic. With its interdisciplinary team it is uniquely qualified to contribute to this topic. The group is therefore strongly engaged in many ongoing projects and its activities have already resulted in four peer-reviewed publications. Numerous interviews were given to national and international media, among them the Financial Times, The Atlantic or LeFigaro. Here is an overview of the group’s activities:

Peer reviewed publications

Other outputs

  • As part of the monitoring for the Ministry of Finance, weekly policy briefs on the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis were published for the duration of the lockdown. The latest can be found here: https://irihs.ihs.ac.at/id/eprint/5325/.
  • In a policy brief on testing strategies, Thomas Czypionka, Gerald Röhrling and Miriam Reiss contrast the public demand for more SARS-CoV-2 testing against the possibilities and limitations of current testing methods. They conclude that the goal of testing is correct, however, there are different objectives in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic that all require different testing strategies.
  • In a Cambridge Core Blog Entry, Thomas Czypionka, Miriam Reiss and Isabel Pham assess Austria’s policy response to the COVID-19 crisis.
  • In a project for the City of Vienna, the group investigated factors that influence hospitalisation rates and mortality of COVID-19: https://irihs.ihs.ac.at/id/eprint/5320/
  • In an IHS blog entry, Thomas Czypionka and Miriam Reiss try to explain the meaning and implications of reported cases and estimate the number of real infections in some European countries.
  • When the pandemic was still confined to Asia, the group conducted estimates of the economic impact the spread in China and Asia would have on the world economy and Austria.

Ongoing projects

  • Within a consortium of international public researchers, the group is working on The impact of COVID-19 in low- and middle-income countries. The project currently compares measures taken in sub-Saharan African countries in terms of public health as well as social and economic policies.
  • With colleagues from England, Italy, France, Germany and Portugal, the group is working on Differences in reporting Covid-19 deaths across Europe to shed some light on the complicated rules and case definitions that make it difficult to compare deaths and estimate case fatality rates (CFR), and ultimately, infection fatality rates (IFR).
  • The group contributes to the project The comparative politics and policy of COVID-19 lead by the University of Michigan. This project spans all continents and will derive comparative policy analyses of a sizeable number of countries.
  • The group is part of the McCovid-19 project that aims to analyse governance of and in nursing homes across EU15 countries. Existing co-ordination arrangements among the various levels of governance as well as different public policy sectors will be investigated in order to design effective responses in emergency situations like the one produced by the Coronavirus pandemic.
  • As part of the CoV-Immun-AT initiative, the group contributes to a protocol for a COVID-19 seroprevalence study for Austria.

 


Social Aspects of COVID-19

The current exceptional situation and in particular the measures taken to contain the COVID-19 pandemic also have a profound impact on our society. Whether in the educational system or in the relationship between technology and society - the crisis is having an impact.

  • In an article for the Journal of Responsible Innovation, Robert Braun, together with co-authors, wrote about the onlineification of research and the need to open up a dialogue on Responsible online Research and Innovation (RoRI).
  • How will COVID-19 change everyday life in Austria? In their study "The new Retro? Austria After the Corona-crises" an Insight Austria team analyzes, how the crisis could lead to long-term changes in social behavior.
  • In a WWTF-funded research project, IHS is surveying teachers about teaching and learning performance of students as well as the support provided by the home environment during the COVID-19 crisis. The preliminary results show that there is great concern about a decline in competence during school closures, especially with regard to already disadvantaged pupils.
  • In their blog post After the pandemic, Robert Braun and Dagmar Rychnovská, address the question of the consequences of the current crisis situation.
  • Mario Steiner takes a look at the potential consequences of home schooling.
  • In a journal article Anna Durnová deals with COVID-19 and the role and change of policy sciences.
  • In a blog piece for the University of Vienna, Beate Littig argues that now is the time to start thinking about the future of a sustainable working society.
  • The Critical Automobility Studies (CAS) lab at IHS is currently collecting stories and pictures to reflect on (auto)mobility life in coronatimes. A selection of contributions can be viewed online in the CAS-Blog.  
  • Thomas König collects current social science research on the coronavirus pandemic.
  • From 24-26 April, the European Commission organised a virtual hackathon to help in connecting civil society, researchers and investors in order to find solutions to the challenges posed by COVID-19. On behalf of IHS, a team from the research group Technology, Science and Societal Transformation took part in the event.
  • In an IHS-Blog article Katrin Auel analyzes the challenges that COVID-19 poses to our democratic institutions, and parliaments in particular.