Open Evidence, in collaboration with BDI- Schlesinger Group and with researchers of various universities[1], conducted a longitudinal study in three waves to measure the effects of Covid-19 and lockdown on individuals’ mental, social, and economic conditions in Spain, Italy, and the UK. For three consecutive weeks, between 24th April and 18th May 2020, the same 1000 participants answered survey questions and took part to three randomised experiments.

In the first wave participants were asked questions on a set of questions that established the baseline on variables that would not change (i.e. age, gender, income, education, labour market position, occupation, housing conditions, having children of school age, health status). Across the three waves we measured their mental health using a validated scale, exposition to shocks (loss of job, closure of activity, decreased earnings, tried to be tested for Covid-19; having to do home lessons to children, etc.), possible exposition to Covid-19 (situations that prevented or would prevent participant to respect social distancing).

In addition, each wave participants took part to three different experiments. In the first wave, through a list experiment, we recovered their agreement with the two contested statements on the balance between the health and economy, as well as their approval to governments’ communication strategies. In the second wave, using a priming experiment, we assessed the effects of shocks (economic or health related) on cognitive performance and on individual and social preferences (risk aversion, time preferences, altruism, reciprocity, trust). Lastly, in the final wave, participants provided their views on how they see the future and took also part in another experiment to elicit support for different policies (social distancing, contact tracing, serological testing).

The results of the study received considerable media attention in Italy and Spain, as the major newspaper report our research (see below the links to the main publications).

The full report can be accessed here.

Moreover, based on the results of the three waves, the authors of the study worked on three scientific papers, already available in pre-print:

  • Codagnone, C., Bogliacino, F., Gomez, C., Charris, R., Montealegre, F., Liva, G., Lupianez Villanuevaet, F., Folkvord, F., Veltri, G. A. (2020). Assessing concerns for the economic consequence of the COVID-19 response and mental health problems associated with economic vulnerability and negative economic shock in Italy, Spain, and the UK. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/x9m36
  • Bogliacino, F., Codagnone, C., Gomez, C., Charris, R., Montealegre, F., Liva, G., Lupianez Villanuevaet, F., Folkvord, F., Veltri, G. A. (2020). Negative shocks predict change in cognitive function and preferences: Assessing the negative affect and stress hypothesis in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown mitigation strategy. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/qhkf9
  • Codagnone, C., Bogliacino, F., Gomez, C., Charris, R., Montealegre, F., Liva, G., Lupianez Villanuevaet, F., Folkvord, F., Veltri, G. A. (2020). Restarting “normal” life after Covid-19 and the lockdown: Evidence from Spain, the United Kingdom, and Italy. https://doi.org/10.31235/osf.io/vd4cq

Selection of media coverage

Italy:

Il Sole 24 Ore

Corriere della Sera (Article 1)

Corriere della Sera (Article 2)

Repubblica

Lavoce.info

Il Foglio

Spain:

El Periódico

La Vanguardia

Cinco días

Expansión

Eldiario.es

[1] Authors: Cristiano Codagnone (Università degli studi di Milano, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Open Evidence), Francisco Lupiañez-Villanueva (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Open Evidence), Giovanni Liva (Open Evidence), Frans Folkvord (Open Evidence), Francesco Bogliacino (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), Rafael Charris (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), Camilo Gómez (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), Felipe Montealegre (Universidad Nacional de Colombia), Giuseppe Veltri (Università degli studi di Trento, Gerda Reith (Glasgow University). We thank Prof. Alberto Martinelli, Prof. Antonio Chiesi, and Prof. Nando Dalla Chiesa of Università degli Studi di Milano for reviewing the research protocol.