Economic challenges and success in the post-COVID era: A CAGE Policy Report


Mirko Draca (ed)
University of Warwick and CAGE


In 2008 there was an expectation of major reform to social and economic structures following the financial crisis. The European Union (EU) referendum of 2016, and the UK’s subsequent exit from the EU in 2020, was also signalled as a turning point that would bring about epochal change. Now, in the waning of the coronavirus pandemic, we are experiencing a similar rhetoric. There is widespread agreement that the pandemic will usher in big changes for the economy and society, with the potential for major policy reform. But what will be the long-term impacts of the pandemic on the UK economy? Is the right response a “new settlement” or is some alternative approach likely to be more beneficial?

This report puts forward a new perspective on the pandemic-related changes that could be ahead. The central theme is assessing the viability of epochal reform in policymaking. There seems to be a relentless desire for making big changes; however, there is arguably not enough recognition of how current settings and history can hold back these efforts.

Foreword by:  Dame Frances Cairncross, CBE, FRSE.

Author Biographies

Mirko Draca, University of Warwick and CAGE

Mirko Draca is an applied economist who has worked on topics in the areas of labour markets, political economy, criminal behaviour and innovation & technology. He is the current Director of the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE). Other institutional affiliations include the Centre for Economic Performance at the LSE. He was a Network Fellow at Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard for 2011/12 and was supported by an ESRC Future Leader grant for the 2016-17 calendar period. He studied for his Phd at University College London.

Nicholas Crafts, University of Warwick and CAGE

Nicholas Crafts is Professor of Economics and Economic History at the University of Warwick and Director of CAGE. His main fields of research interest are the comparative economic performance of European economies and the economic geography of industrialisation.

Emma Duchini, University of Essex

Emma Duchini is a labor economist, specialized in the areas of skills acquisition and gender differences in the labor market. She was born in Florence, where the exposure to the ingenuity of Renaissance artists motivated her to discover the world through the lens of an economist. Since then, she has completed her PhD at Pompeu Fabra. Emma is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Essex. Previously, she had the pleasure to work as a Research Fellow at the University of Warwick. To answer her research questions, she chases unique settings and unexplored data across different countries.

Roland Rathelot, CREST, ENSAE, Institut Polytechnique de Paris

Roland Rathelot's current research deals with the job-search process and discrimination against ethnic minorities. He is a research affiliate at the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) and the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), an external research fellow at the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM) and a research associate at the Centre for Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE, Warwick).

Giulia Vattuone, University of Warwick and CAGE

Giulia Vattuone is a PhD student in the Department of Economics, University of Warwick. Her research interests are in Labour Economics with a focus on worker sorting and the gender wage gap.

David Chambers, Cambridge Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

Professor David Chambers is the Invesco Professor of Finance at the University of Cambridge. Prior to returning to full-time education in 2001, Professor Chambers worked for 20 years in investment banking at Barings, Hotchkis & Wiley and Merrill Lynch. He gained experience in asset management, mergers and acquisitions and venture capital in Europe, Japan and the United States. Professor Chambers is Academic Director of the Centre for Endowment Asset Management at Cambridge Judge Business School, an Associate Director of the Centre for Financial History, University of Cambridge, and a Research Fellow of the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). He sits on the Editorial Board of the Financial Analysts Journal. His research interests include empirical corporate finance, especially IPOs; asset management, particularly in relation to endowments and foundations; financial history; and law and finance.

Andrew Oswald, University of Warwick and CAGE

Andrew Oswald is a Professor of Economics and Behavioural Science at the University of Warwick. He is also a Senior Research Fellow in the Wellbeing Research Centre at Manchester Harris College, University of Oxford, and a Research Fellow at the IZA Institute in Bonn with special responsibility for work on climate change. His research is principally in applied economics and quantitative social science. It includes work on the empirical study of job satisfaction, human happiness, mental health, pain and the business cycle, and labour productivity. He serves on the board of editors of Science. Previously at Oxford and the London School of Economics, with spells as Lecturer, Princeton University (1983-4); De Walt Ankeny Professor of Economics, Dartmouth College (1989-91); Jacob Wertheim Fellow, Harvard University (2005); Visiting Fellow, Cornell University (2008); Research Director, IZA Bonn (2011-12); Visiting Fellow, University of Zurich (2016); Visiting Fellow, Yale University (2016). He is an ISI Highly-Cited Researcher.

Max Nathan, University College London

Max Nathan currently works at UCL as an Associate Professor in Applied Urban Sciences, based at CASA. He is also an affiliate in the Urban Programme at the Centre for Economic Performance. Max completed his PhD at LSE in 2011. His academic research focuses on the economics of cultural diversity, in particular the performance of diverse cities, communities and teams; innovation systems and clusters, especially in tech and creative industries; and in public policy for cities, especially policy design and evaluation. Max co-founded the Centre for Cities think tank and the What Works Centre for Local Economic Growth. He is also affiliated to CAGE, IZA, NIESR and the Centre for London. He has previously worked in Whitehall at the Department of Communities and Local Government on issues like localism, regeneration and economic development.

Carmen Villa Llera, University of Warwick

Carmen Villa-Llera is PhD Economics candidate at the University of Warwick and a Research Assistant at the Centre for Economic Performance.

Cover for Economic challenges and success in the post-COVID era: A CAGE Policy Report
November 18, 2021