Longitudinal study on the effects of COVID 19 and lockdown in Italy, Spain, and United Kingdom

Duration: 2020

Consortium: Open Evidence, Izi, BDI-Schlesinger Group, Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC), Università degli Studi di Milano, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Glasgow University, and Trento University

Geographical Coverage: Italy, UK and Spain.

Data collection tools: random sample extracted from international online panel; representative for the three countries for the population aged 18-75; ex ante quota (adjusted ex post) for the following variables: gender, level of education, residential type (urban, sub-urban, rural), geographic areas.

Abstract: The study aimed at assessing the effects of Covid-19 and lockdown in three consecutive waves:
• The first completed between April 24th and May 1st;
• The second completed between May 1st and 12nd;
• The third completed between May 9th and 20th.
For three consecutive weeks the same participants have answered survey questions and took part to three randomised experiments.
In the first wave participants were asked a set of questions on their socio economic characteristics and 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 each wave participants took part to three different experiments. In the first wave 1 through a list experiment we recovered their agreement with the following two statements: a) government should not focus only in preventing contagion but also in avoiding a major economic crisis; and b) government should not only communicate citizens what to do to adhere to the safety measures, but also explain clearly how it is planning the way out.
In the second wave, using a priming experiment and information on exposition to shocks, we assessed the effects of the latter on cognitive performance and on individual and social preferences (risk aversion, time preferences, altruism, reciprocity, trust).
In the third wave, through another experiment, we elicited support for different policies (social distancing, contact tracing, serological testing). In addition, participants provided their view on how they see the future.

This longitudinal study provides a unique dataset that combines information on health, socio-economic status, psychological conditions, exposure to shocks as well as actual and future behaviours. Ethical approval was obtained on April 22nd, 2020 from the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya Ethics Committee.

The report is available here.