The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered unprecedented economic decline in advanced economies, often exacerbating challenges inherited from previous crises. However, the policy responses to these common pressures in the initial ‘fast burning’ phase of the COVID-19-induced recession varied significantly across countries.
This project used a comparative political economy approach to make sense of this variation within the EU and to derive relevant policy implications. First, we mapped systematically the responses enacted during the first wave of the pandemic (February–September, 2020) in the fields of macro-economic (monetary and fiscal) and micro-economic (labour market and business support) policy across selected EU countries. Second, we conducted a cross-country comparative analysis of policy responses. We deployed configurational comparative methods to identify the determinants of policy variation, considering the interplay between institutional, economic, ideological and political factors. The project has generated insights about the preconditions for effective policy responses to sudden shocks.
This project was additionally supported by a Rapid Response Grant on COVID-19 and the Social Sciences from the SSRC (Social Science Research Council).