VoxEU Column COVID-19 Frontiers of economic research

A call to impact: Special Issue of Economic Policy on the economics of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic is one of the defining moments of our times from both a social and economic perspective. The correct understanding of the economics of this crisis is essential to provide policy solutions to attenuate its impact. Standard economist tools can also contribute to the understanding of the social factors that contribute to the spread of the disease. With the aim of answering this question, the Managing Editors of Economic Policy are opening a call for papers for a special issue on “The Economics of COVID-19” to bring together the best ideas to inform the debate and provide high-impact policy advice.

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Around the world, the pandemic is posing severe challenges to health systems, the global and local economies, and to society as a whole. The widespread implementation of lockdowns and the global nature of the problem make this crisis unprecedented. Accordingly, the economic policy responses to this crisis need to adapt to this specific environment, posing a challenge to economists and policy-makers (e.g. Baldwin and Weder di Mauro 2020a, 2020b).

While the full consequences of the pandemic are still unclear, economists throughout the world have started to produce valuable research to understand the social elements of the pandemic, its short-term impact on the economy and its longer-term economic consequences (Weder di Mauro and Wyplosz 2020). But more academic research is needed to understand how countries can best prepare to deal with the immediate and longer-run impacts of the pandemic, as well as lessons from the current experience that can be used to guide policy-makers to prepare better for potential crises in the future. 

The economic analysis of epidemiological data and economic models can also complement standard tools of epidemiology in understanding the social aspects of the spread of the pandemic and the effectiveness of different health policies. 

Call to impact: The Special Issue

Economic Policy is the only pan-European high-impact policy journal, and the ideal platform for this transformational debate. As its Managing Editors, we think that our profession has important insights to share with society and an important role to play in addressing how to design policy to deal properly with the challenges posed by a pandemic. We are calling for contributions to a Special Issue on "The Economics of COVID-19". Successful articles will address the fundamental challenges and aim at high impact in the policy debate. The editors are looking for theoretical and empirical contributions that combine rigorous research with distinct policy messages. Topic-wise, the special issue aspires to reflect the full breadth of the intersection of the pandemic and the economy including:

  • The impact on the local and global economy and different sectors
  • The political and economic response and strategy, including the effects of state rescue packages
  • The role of central banks, financial markets and international institutions
  • The effect of demographic factors, such as age structure, on the spread of the pandemic
  • The effect of Covid-19 on demographics, such as fertility, mortality and migration
  • The impact of the pandemic on the environment and CO2 emissions
  • The effects on education; the impact of home and online schooling; the future of studying abroad
  • The interaction between epidemiological and economic factors
  • The trade-off (or lack thereof) between economic and health measures

The Special Issue will be edited by an outstanding guest editor, Jérôme Adda, who has worked extensively on the intersection of health issues and their links to economic policy. Successful papers will be invited for presentation at a high-profile policy event in April 2021. The deadline for submission of papers via our online submission system (https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ecpol) is 30th September 2020.


Baldwin, R and B Weder Mauro (2020a), Economics in the Time of COVID-19, a VoxEU.org eBook, CEPR Press.

Baldwin, R and B Weder di Mauro (2020b), Mitigating the COVID economic crisis: Act fast and do whatever it takes, a VoxEU.org eBook, CEPR Press.

Weder di Mauro, B, and C Wyplosz (2020), ‘New CEPR ‘Review’: Covid Economics, Vetted and Real-Time Papers’, VoxEU.org, 30 March.