Covid-19 in review: 5 most popular articles on Do Better

After starting in China, the Covid-19 pandemic rapidly spread across the world, bringing many economies and societies to a halt and shaping the following months – and most probably years to come. Esade professors and researchers have provided insights into the economic and legal implications of Covid-19 for companies, society and the world as a whole. Their perspectives cover from geopolitical global consequences to proposals on how to restart key sectors after strict confinements.

Reaching the peak of the holiday season, Do Better offers a compilation of the most-read articles on the Covid-19 crisis published this year. Check them out for insights, ideas and proposals on how to get out of this crisis stronger than before.

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Green-zone travelling: A pan-European strategy to save tourism

In this Policy Insight, EsadeEcPol proposed to elevate the green zoning approach followed by many EU member states for their regions to the level of the European Union. As the incidence of the virus decreases, mobility between these regions will normalise, following a "green zoning" strategy.

The idea is simple: allowing the mobility of people between "green zones" of different European countries through a network of regions certified by European institutions. This proposal aimed to save the summer tourist season in southern Europe, thus mitigating the enormous economic costs that the closure to international tourism could cause for these countries.

"European green zones represent a unique opportunity for the EU to demonstrate leadership, creating a win-win situation for all countries, with a huge direct positive impact on the lives of millions of European citizens," stated the researchers from EsadeEcPol.

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Coronavirus and Spanish economic policy: impact and responses

This article by EsadeEcPol was one of the first assessments on the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic and a policy proposal on how the government and the European Union should face it. It drew a lot of media attention as it was the first document comparing the impact of the coronavirus crisis with the 2008 financial crisis.

The conclusions predicted that the consequences for the Spanish economy were going to be worse than for other countries due to its demography, the relative abundance of small and medium-sized businesses and the high level of dependence on the service sector. The authors also urged for a coordinated EU response. 

"Economic policy must be aimed at protecting jobs and preventing profitable companies from closing due to a lack of liquidity," concluded the authors just three days after the declaration of the state of emergency.

Andrew Cuomo

Podcast: Communication lessons from Andrew Cuomo – and retail challenges in times of crisis

The third most popular story on the Covid-19 crisis was a podcast by Esade professor Esteve Almirall and Michelle Greenwald, communication analyst and adjunct associate professor at NYU Stern. The experts delved into the lessons that could be learnt from Andrew Cuomo, governor of New York State, and his communication style during the Covid-19 crisis.

The podcast offers insights on the main communication tricks used by Cuomo to keep audiences engaged, but also on the future of retail and marketing and how brands will change in a post-Covid world.

"Andrew Cuomo understands statistics, logistics, epidemiology and he comes across as an executive in charge who is trying to do everything possible," concluded Michelle Greenwald, adding that he "paints the grim reality, but he does it in a way that's human and constructive."

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Responding to global systemic shocks: applying lessons from previous crises to Covid-19

By the end of March, it was crystal clear that the Covid-19 pandemic was a global systemic shock with the potential to turn the most advanced economies upside down. In this Policy Insight, EsadeEcPol researchers focused on analysing previous crises and looked for lessons to address the economic impact of the pandemic.

With the SARS outbreak as a background, the authors focused their assessment on the need for international support to contain the pandemic, strengthening social safety nets and measuring its global impacts.

"The concurrence of the shock, along with the globalised nature of economic and population flows, makes it necessary but nearly impossible to respond to the pandemic in a coordinated and supranational manner," warned the authors.

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Exit strategy: from self-confinement to green zones

This article, the prequel to the one opening this list, proposed a practical exit strategy to the Covid-19 confinement based on two key elements: identifying green zones, and progressively joining them together once it is safe to do so.

"The zoning approach should play an important role in the exit strategy from the Covid-19 pandemic," wrote the authors. Supported by simulations, the researchers showed how territories could be rapidly unified, within two to four months, following a zoning approach in order to return to normal life.

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