In January 2021, Adalbert Winkler, Professor of International and Development Finance, and Michael König, Project Manager at UNEP Collaborating Center for Climate & Sustainable Energy Finance, published a study on the economic impact of the Corona pandemic. In their paper "COVID-19: Lockdowns, Fatality Rates and GDP Growth", the researchers analyse the impact of government-mandated and voluntary measures on the development of the economy. They used data from 42 countries in the first three quarters of 2020.
"The results show that intensive government measures to mitigate the pandemic, such as a lockdown, have a strong negative effect on the economy in the same quarter. However, the effects are at least partially compensated for in the following quarter," says Professor Adalbert Winkler. "However, part of the economic downturn is probably also related to the fact that the population voluntarily behaves more cautiously. At least this is suggested by our finding: in countries with more COVID-19-related deaths per 100,000 inhabitants, the growth rate has fallen more sharply than in countries with comparatively low death rates so far," adds Michael König.
The results of the cross-national study confirm, according to the Frankfurt School researchers, on the one hand, all those who want to avoid a tougher lockdown for economic reasons. On the other hand, they also confirm those who call for a tougher lockdown to reduce the number of deaths and infections and thus keep economic output high.
The article from the journal Intereconomics is available for download here. The publication is part of a research project on the growth effects of COVID-19. Previous publications from July 2020 can be found here and from November 2020 here.