Teaching and Research with SARS-CoV-2Please allow me some remarks regarding teaching and research during a pandemic.
- Currently, our health system is under an enormous strain. Working day in and day out in protective clothing in understaffed emergency units deserves our respect and should not be taken for granted. Academics should try to understand the consequences their actions have on our health system. We should act responsibly. We should not try to find loopholes that would allow us to carry on with routines that have become a danger to the public.
- I am grateful to the colleagues (many of them young academics) who, during the past months, have successfully developed safe and digital academic events. These colleagues have made and are still making a very important contribution to our academic life. They help us to keep in touch. They help us to carry on with our work in a responsible way. Thank you!
- During the last months I have learnt to appreciate digital
academic events. I have difficulties understanding colleagues who
cling to now dangerous and out of date behavior, who refuse to engage in safe and
responsible digital alternatives. I find it dangerous when these
colleages point to others who “do the same”. It does not help if
individual members of a society excuse their own behaviour, if they claim
that the negative externality generated by them is small in
comparison to the negative externality generated by all others.
The behaviour of others never justifies own choices. A society which follows the inefficient example of their neighbours enters a spiral of increasingly inefficient choices. We must make responsible and independent and safe choices. We must help reducing the burden we impose on our health system. We must do this, even if we have to adjust our routines. We must do this, even if our own individual contribution is small.
Our health system is under an enormous strain. Academics must help reducing this strain.
Digital hospitality among researchers is essential. I am most grateful to the MPI for collective goods for their hospitality and for their inspiring digital activities during the pandemic. I also enjoy the following seminar series in my field:
- Virtual MD Seminar Series
- VIBES (Virtual Behavioral Economics Seminar)
- MiddExLab Virtual Seminar Series
- Norms and Behavioral Change Talks
- Cristina Bicchieri, Enrique Fatas, Abraham Aldama, Andres Casas, Ishwari Deshpande, Mariagiulia Lauro, Cristina Parilli, Max Spohn, Paula Pereira, Ruiling Wen. “In Science we (should) trust: expectations and compliance during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
- Solomon Hsiang, Daniel Allen, Sébastien Annan-Phan, Kendon Bell, Ian Bolliger, Trinetta Chong, Hannah Druckenmiller, Luna Yue Huang, Andrew Hultgren, Emma Krasovich, Peiley Lau, Jaecheol Lee, Esther Rolf, Jeanette Tseng, Tiffany Wu. “The effect of large-scale anti-contagion policies on the COVID-19 pandemic”. Nature. 2020.
- Gonzalo Castex, Evgenia Dechter, Miguel Lorca. “COVID-19: The impact of social distancing policies, cross-country analysis.” Economics of Disasters and Climate Change. 2020.
- Hunt Allcott, Levi Boxell, Jacob Conway, Billy Ferguson, Matthew Gentzkow, Benny Goldman. “What Explains Temporal and Geographic Variation in the Early US Coronavirus Pandemic?”. 2020.
- Panu Poutvaara, Madhinee Valeyatheepillay. “Covid-19 Pandemic: Challenges and a Way Forward”. EconPol Policy Report. 2020.
- Pierre Pestieau, Grégory Ponthiere. “Optimal Lockdown and Social Welfare.”. CESifo Working Paper 8694. 2020.
- Aditya Goenka Lin Liu and Manh-Hung Nguyen. “Modeling optimal quarantines under infectious disease related mortality”. TSE Working Paper, n. 20-1136, August 2020.
- Martín Gonzalez-Eiras, Dirk Niepelt. “Optimally Controlling an Epidemic”. CESifo Working Paper 8770. 2020.
- Tiziana Assenza, Fabrice Collard, Martial Dupaigne, Patrick Fève, Christian Hellwig, Sumudu Kankanamge, and Nicolas Werquin. “The Hammer and the Dance: Equilibrium and Optimal Policy during a Pandemic Crisis”. TSE Working Paper, n. 20-1099, May 2020.
- Laurent Miclo, Jörgen W. Weibull, and Daniel Spiro, “Optimal epidemic suppression under an ICU constraint”, TSE Working Paper, n. 20-1111, June 2020.
- Kenju Kamei, Louis Putterman, Jean-Robert Tyran. “Civic Engagement as a Second-Order Public Good: The Cooperative Underpinnings of the Accountable State.” SSRN 3448470. (The paper has obviously been written before the pandemic. Still, I think that civic engagement help us understanding social and economic dynamics during the pandemic.