COVID-19

News coverage, academic research and more on the coronavirus pandemic from experts at The Pearson Institute.

La República

04.30.20

Sí es momento para pensar en reformas tributarias

Aunque el presidente Duque afirmó lo contrario, la crisis que atravesamos debe poner en la agenda una reforma seria de nuestro sistema tributario. El motivo más obvio, pero no el más fundamental, es que las exigencias de gasto y la erosión de ingresos por la pandemia descuadrarán las cuentas y obligarán, tarde o temprano, a buscar nuevos ingresos.

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UChicago News

04.29.20

COVID 2025: How the pandemic is changing our world

Coronavirus is changing life as we know it on a daily basis. But what will our world look like in the next five years? How will the pandemic permanently reshape our lives?

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Quartz India

04.23.20

Is there really no community transmission of coronavirus in India? Let’s do some math

India is beginning to ramp up testing for Covid-19. The central government and several states have begun to procure lakhs of RT-PCR test kits to screen for the virus. Scores of government workers have fanned out across the country to track contacts of people who have tested positive. Moreover, India is considering novel testing protocols in order to increase the population that can be covered with the tests it already has.

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Vox

04.22.20

A disturbing new study suggests Sean Hannity helped spread the coronavirus

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, media critics have warned that the decision from leading Fox News hosts to downplay the outbreak could cost lives. A new study provides statistical evidence that, in the case of Sean Hannity, that’s exactly what happened.

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The Eastern Link

04.22.20

Xi Jinping to Remain: US Expert

James Robinson, coauthor of international bestseller Why Nations Fail and the director of the University of Chicago's Pearson Institute for the Study and Resolution of Global Conflicts, is a scholar who offers extraordinary insights.

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Harris News

04.20.20

New Research Emphasizes Why Leadership Is Necessary to Defeat Harmful Social Norms and COVID-19

Consistent messages from national leaders are necessary to change deeply ingrained social norms like shaking hands and socializing in restaurants, which are crucial adjustments for disrupting the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new paper coauthored by Ethan Bueno de Mesquita, the Sydney Stein Professor and Deputy Dean at the Harris School of Public Policy, and Mehdi Shadmehr, a visiting associate professor at Harris.

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Paul Poast Podcast

04.16.20

Power politics of pandemics

Professor Paul Poast talks about the ways in which COVID-19 is shaping the narrative around the international distribution of power.

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Quartz

04.16.20

Why does India have so few Covid-19 cases and deaths?

India is four times more populous than the US, but has just 2% the number of cases and only 1.5% of the number of Covid-19 deaths. How has the country, whose per capita income is just tenth of the US, avoided being flattened by the pandemic?

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The Pearson Institute

04.14.20

Coordination and Social Distancing: Inertia in the Aggregate Response to COVID-19

Social distancing is critical to slow the spread of COVID-19. However, social distancing in the wake of COVID-19 has been frustratingly slow and inadequate. Here we use a game theoretic model to show that, when a new and rare virus, like COVID-19, emerges, the aggregate level of social distancing has inherent inertia, and that clear national public statements are essential in reducing that inertia and adjusting the public’s behavior to the new, optimal level of social distancing. Novel infectious diseases abruptly change the appropriate level of social distancing, leaving individuals uncertain about how to act. Inertia arises in such a setting because individuals care about conforming to social norms (e.g., it is awkward to refuse a social invitation or work request) and the previous level of social distancing provides a focal point to coordinate behavior. Clear and consistent national statements about the new optimal level of social distancing enable individuals and communities to coordinate on new norms of behavior, reducing inertia and moving the society closer to the optimum. Such national statements generate a beneficial over-reaction from the public that offsets the over-weighting of past experience. National communications are preferable to communications through local governments or employers when the optimal levels of social distancing are highly correlated over-time and when individuals are poorly informed about changes in the optimal level of social distancing. Our results show the utility of game theoretic models in disease control and public health policy.

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Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

04.14.20

Coronavirus in Conflict Zones: A Sobering Landscape

As Thomas de Waal explains, in breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine, if either the de facto or de jure “parent states” Russia or Ukraine can find a way to provide effective virus response—or if the breakaway authorities manage to do so instead—they may establish legitimacy, with longer-term implications for the politics of the conflict. Similarly, Paul Staniland argues that the coronavirus represents an early test of the Indian government’s ability to provide effective governance in Kashmir, a key justification New Delhi offered for the abrogation of Kashmir’s special status last year. Ineffectual management of the coronavirus would further harden the negative views many in Kashmir hold toward India.

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Newsweek

04.13.20

What Dr. Anthony Fauci has said about reopening the country amid the coronavirus pandemic

Anup Malani, a professor at the Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago, told Newsweek that much of the conversation has been to save the economy or save people's lives. However, finding a solution that isn't to either lift measures entirely or keep them in place exactly as they are can achieve both goals.

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VoxTalks

04.09.20

Lessons from the Ebola crisis on dealing with Covid-19

The 2014 Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone affected an area which included a pioneering experiment in community healthcare. Oeindrila Dube tells Tim Phillips about the lifesaving impact of this experiment - and two important lessons we can learn that may help to contain the spread of Covid-19 in Africa

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Newsweek

04.09.20

What are coronavirus antibody tests and do they exist yet?

A test for the new coronavirus can determine if a person has ever been infected with COVID-19, thereby giving officials a clearer picture of the full scope of the outbreak. Unlike the nasal swab that determines if a person is currently infected, the antibody test, which requires a blood sample, can determine if a person was ever infected even if they didn't know it. While both tests are beneficial, being able to determine what portion of the population has had the virus, including those who were asymptomatic or had mild cases and weren't tested, helps show the extent of the outbreak and who is possibly immune.

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Tablet Magazine

04.06.20

Can Emergency Powers Go Too Far?

The COVID-19 pandemic is affecting nearly every person on the planet, threatening lives and economies. Less well appreciated is that pandemics also touch every government. We have already seen vastly different public health responses from governments around the world, ranging from a very relaxed approach in Sweden to total lockdowns of large regions in China and Italy. We also observe great variation in the extent to which governments deploy their legal and constitutional powers to combat the virus.

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Hindustan Times

04.06.20

Covid-19: To get an accurate estimate of the spread, India must ensure random community testing

In the fight against the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19), policymakers are fighting blind, because we do not know the extent of the infections in the population or the mortality rate due to it. It is possible to track the number of deaths, the cases that required hospitalisation and those who have tested positive for the virus at hospitals, but those numbers present a limited picture of the pandemic. Our response to this crisis depends critically on figuring out how fast the disease is spreading outside of hospitals, in the community, and how likely the virus is to kill individuals who have been infected. The only way to obtain this information is through random testing in the population.

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Foreign Policy

04.03.20

The United States Can Still Win the Coronavirus Pandemic

An event like the new coronavirus forces all of us to make rapid judgments and decisions—in our personal lives, in our financial dealings, in how we do our jobs, and in what we think is going to happen. Whether on Twitter, in interviews, or here at Foreign Policy, prognosticators are offering up hot takes daily, based on whatever information they can gather and the worldviews (i.e., theories) on which they typically rely.

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Khabarhub

04.03.20

Corona’s world tour in the guise of arrogant development

Every developmental activity carried out since the origin of the world to this day has its pros and cons. Boon and bane are somehow interconnected. Bhishma of Mahabharata was blessed with the death at his will, however, he had the curse to wait for his last days lying on the bed of arrows, that also prepared by his most loved Arjun. Even Lord Bishnu had to abide by the curse he got from Gandhari. It’s like as you sow, so you reap.

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Paul Poast Podcast

04.02.20

How war language works in a pandemic

In this episode, Professor Poast discusses international cooperation in times of war and in times of pandemics, as well as the widening gap between national and local government.

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The Statesman

04.01.20

Never the same again

Possibly the most disagreeable consequence of the crisis would be the expanding role of the state to the detriment of individual liberties and privacy. Cutting across political ideologies, governments in countries like China, South Korea, Singapore, Italy, Israel, and Mexico, are harnessing surveillance-camera footage, mobile and credit card data to trace the movements of people and establish virus transmission chains.

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Insight Crime

03.31.20

What Does Coronavirus Mean for Criminal Governance in Latin America?

A number of criminal groups across Latin America are ordering ceasefires and exerting control over local communities as fears of the coronavirus sweep across the region, raising questions about how these groups will use this crisis to further their legitimacy and power.

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NBC News

03.30.20

Trump administration in talks with India to avoid U.S. drug supply shortage

Trump administration officials are asking India to lift restrictions to give the U.S. access to pharmaceutical ingredients to produce a range of drugs amid fears of a U.S. drug supply shortage prompted by the coronavirus outbreak, three sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

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UCLA Newsroom

03.27.20

What the Ebola outbreak could teach us about how to contain the novel coronavirus

A new research paper examining the 2014-15 Ebola outbreak in Africa could hold crucial insights for policymakers grappling with the novel coronavirus pandemic — namely, the importance of public engagement and trust during health crises.

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CBS Chicago

03.27.20

University Of Chicago Professor Calls For 'Radical Changes' As A Community Due To Coronavirus Pandemic

Oeindrila Dube, with the University of Chicago's Harris School of Public Policy, says more community leaders need to come forward and call for radical changes like social distancing for those who have not listened to government leaders.

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Harris News

03.26.20

What The Ebola Outbreak Could Teach Us About How To Contain Coronavirus

A new research paper examining the 2014 Ebola outbreak in Africa could hold crucial insights for policymakers grappling with the coronavirus pandemic—namely, the importance of public trust in institutions during health crises.

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NPR

03.26.20

How Trust May Help To Limit A Disease Outbreak

What helps to contain an epidemic? A study of the Ebola crisis suggests that patients' trust in health workers can encourage patients to report illnesses and receive treatment.

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The New York Times

03.26.20

How You Can Protect Your Community, Not Just Your Own Health

The drastic changes in economic and social behavior needed to stop the coronavirus require active community engagement, two economists say. Here are lessons from the Ebola epidemic.

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The Pearson Institute

03.20.20

Coronavirus Perceptions And Economic Anxiety

We provide the first analysis of how the global spread of the novel coronavirus affects contemporaneous economic sentiment. First, we collect a global dataset on internet searches indicative of economic anxieties. We find that the arrival of coronavirus in a country led to a substantial increase in such internet searches of up to 58 percent. Second, leveraging two US representative survey experiments conducted in early and mid-March 2020, we document a rapid surge in economic anxieties after the arrival of the coronavirus in the US. Third, to understand how information about the coronavirus affects these anxieties, we measure perceptions about the coronavirus. We find substantial heterogeneity in participants’ beliefs about the mortality from and contagiousness of the virus. Fourth, experimentally providing participants with information about mortality and contagiousness causally affects participants’ worries regarding the aggregate economy and their personal economic situation. Finally, we document that participants’ subjective mental models understate the non-linear nature of disease spread, and that these mental models shape the extent of economic worries. These results underscore the importance of public education about the virus for successful containment as well as the need for timely measures that decrease economic hardship and anxiety during a major global pandemic.

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Paul Poast Podcast

03.19.20

What the long-term effects of COVID-19 could be

In this podcast episode, Paul discusses with Peter Wolf, a CPOST researcher, the long-term implications of the COVID-19 virus and how it could change global power relations. 

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New York Daily News

03.19.20

Coronavirus: Don’t forget about poor kids

The United States is in the midst of the greatest mass mobilization of public health resources in nearly a century. Every day brings new restrictions: social distancing, self-quarantine, and city- and state-wide restrictions on public life, from restaurants to movies. Washington is taking dramatic measures to reduce the economic harm from these measures. Just yesterday President Trump signed a massive bipartisan bill expanding unemployment insurance and paid sick leave. Sadly, such actions do little to address the disproportionate impact protective measures will have on poor and at-risk children.

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The Washington Post

03.16.20

Trump can’t save us from the coronavirus. But governors and mayors can.

President Trump promised Friday to “unleash the full power of the federal government” against the novel coronavirus, officially declaring the outbreak a “national emergency” — “two very big words,” as he put it. But although this announcement drew headlines, the reality is that the president’s legal authorities in a pandemic are limited. Trump will continue to capture an outsize share of media coverage, but the most important actions in the fight against the virus probably won’t come from the president — they will come from governors and mayors.

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RT

03.11.20

Universal basic income needed against coronavirus’ economic damage!

On this episode of Going Underground, we speak to Prof. James Robinson of the University of Chicago about subjects including the global response to the coronavirus, why he believes China’s statistics can’t be trusted, whether anything can be learned from China’s response to the pandemic, and the impact of poor public health policies on the ability to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. 

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PBS News Hour

01.30.20

How novel coronavirus could affect the global economy

The World Health Organization’s decision Thursday to declare the novel coronavirus an international public health emergency could stoke investors’ fears about the disease and the economic risks it poses. “It might be better to have a short-term quarantine and have high short-term economic costs than to have a longer term where people are concerned about diseases floating around,” said Anup Malani, an economist and professor at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine.

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