This Briefing Note was first published on 4th May 2020. A variant of the note with very minor updates has been published in Covid Economics, and the Briefing Note itself has been amended to reflect the same updates.
Governments are starting to ease restrictions to economic activity. The risks of easing these measures too soon, or in misguided ways, are obvious, not only for public health but also for the economy. A world with no lockdown and a pandemic spreading rapidly through the population does not make for a healthy economy; nor, in all likelihood, does a world in which containment measures have to be repeatedly reinstated after being eased prematurely or in suboptimal ways. We discuss some key economic issues that the UK government needs to face when thinking about how best to get people back into work: we assemble some basic empirical evidence, identify some challenges that policymakers will need to confront, and discuss some policy considerations.
CPP Co-Director, IFS Research Director
Rachel is Research Director and Professor at the University of Manchester. She was made a Dame for services to economic policy and education in 2021.
Deputy Research Director
Monica is a Deputy Research Director and Professor of Economics at the University of Bristol, with an interest in Labour, Family and Public Economics.
Robert is a Deputy Director. His work focuses on economic inequality, labour markets and welfare policy.
Peter joined in 2009. He has published several papers on the microeconomics of household spending and labour supply decisions over the life-cycle.
Christine's research examines inequalities in children's education and health, especially in the early education and childcare sector.
Costa Dias, M et al. (2020). Getting people back into work. London: IFS. Available at: https://ifs.org.uk/publications/getting-people-back-work (accessed: 10 December 2023).
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