As of today, up-to-date crisis-response policy inventories and general recommendations to combat the labor market and social impact of COVID-19 have become available (e.g., by the OECD). Short-run objectives of various policy responses are predominantly income and employment stabilization (often at the same time reducing activation measures), while temporarily detaching income from work and economic activities. In some countries, these responses rely to a larger extent on automatic stabilizers, while the amount of discretionary measures is generally large and often unprecedented.
IZA has invited a small number of labor economists as country experts to jointly monitor the crisis responses. Their expertise is an extremely valuable addition to existing policy inventories. Based on a qualitative survey among these country experts, IZA establishes an independent assessment of actual crisis-related policy responses. This assessment focuses on the various domains in which measures can be observed and analyzes their targeting, take-up and implementation. Furthermore, the country experts point to blind spots and help identifying policy innovations to revive labor market activities at the next stage.
The qualitative survey among country experts is based on a set of eight questions (see right column) and covers a sample of European and G7 countries heavily affected by COVID-19 as well as the EU. The first wave of this survey takes place in in May 2020. Three subsequent waves are planned.
The initial crisis management report, to be released in early June 2020, will include short up-to-date country chapters, a review of EU-level activities and a comparative assessment prepared by the local team of IZA researchers in Bonn.
Preliminary country reports include the following: