We do not yet know the extent of the economic consequences, but we do know that there will be consequences. Are we heading for a new economic crisis? A higher national debt? Higher interest rates? Will small businessmen be able to survive, having been forced to close down for months at a time? Or will the economic consequences not be too bad? Many questions about the policy of the corona crisis are also questions about the economy.
"It is very important to contribute with our knowledge to possible solutions, to better understand pandemic measures"
Frank van Oort is professor of Urban and Regional Economics at the Erasmus School of Economics. In 2020, he won a ZonMw COVID-19 research grant to conduct research into the social effects of the coronavirus pandemic and mitigation measures, i.e. the economic effects of coronavirus policy in the short and long term, and how we can ensure that the negative effects are not too great. In addition, he is conducting research in cooperation with the Rotterdam region: to see how the recovery of the city's economy can go hand in hand with renewal, by involving AI applications, for example. And how urban planning and area development can or must change: with a view to building new homes, working from home and the way people interact with the city, now and after corona.
Frank van Oort in the news
"The longer the coronavirus crisis continues, the more business ethics come under pressure."
Muel Kaptein is Professor of Business Ethics at the Rotterdam School of Management. He saw ethics come under pressure in coronation time. On the one hand, companies showed that they wanted to do good, think of supermarkets that introduced senior citizen hours. On the other hand, companies abused the situation, for example by selling misleading anti-coronas products. And the longer it goes on, the more business ethics seem to be under pressure. So it is important not to pit health against economics; they are two sides of the same coin,' warned Kaptein in an essay in the Nederlands Dagblad.
Muel Kaptein in the news
"The number of unemployment benefits has risen sharply among young people."
Young people are hit hardest by the corona crisis, according to the new unemployment figures of UWV and CBS. Especially young people with flexible and temporary contracts often lose their jobs. Anne Gielen, professor of labour economics at Erasmus School of Economics is worried about them. "What we have seen in the past with crises is that it is the temporary contracts that take the first blows. Flexible contracts are then no longer extended, or are even terminated prematurely. It is mostly young people who are employed in these flexible contracts. That is why the vulnerability that you have in times of economic crisis is now concentrated among the younger groups. For them, the first few years on the labour market are particularly important for shaping their careers; the opportunities for doing so are now very limited. Her advice to young people: still try to stay active and invest in yourself, in order to remain interesting to future employers. You may have to settle for a job in a different sector or a less challenging one now, but you may be able to move on to the position you would have liked at a later date.
Anne Gielen in the news
"Save capitalism from the capitalists"
Bas Jacobs, former professor at the Erasmus School of Economics, was interviewed a lot about his economic vision from the beginning of the crisis. According to him, the government pursued a good economic policy in order to mitigate the consequences of the lockdowns. But he was openly critical of the corona strategy that was followed, in which, according to him, the emphasis was too one-sidedly on the medical side. The consequences of the policy for the economy, education, social cohesion and violations of fundamental rights should be taken into account more, he argued. In addition, the OMT should not take the place of politics. He advocated greater investment in education to make up for the educational disadvantages caused by corona. Jacobs also criticised the plan to decide on the spending of the National Growth Fund on the basis of GDP growth. A major mistake', because prosperity is much more than just GDP. Together with Sijbren Cnossen, he wrote the book 'Ontwerp voor een Beter Belastingstelsel' (Design for a Better Tax System). Jacobs also wrote a series of essays for Vrij Nederland 'Red het kapitalisme van de kapitalisten' and argues for a form of capitalism that benefits everyone: in which entrepreneurship and hard work are rewarded, but monopolisation, wind trading in real estate and environmental pollution are not.