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Project assessing impact of COVID-19 in UK and Japan secures funding

A collaborative project investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on labour markets in the UK and Japan has won funding from leading research bodies.

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The project will see researchers from the UK and Japan work together. Picture: FILE PHOTO

Professor Jonathan Portes (King’s College London) and Professor Kotaro Tsuru (Keio University) are among 10 project teams to have been awarded funding by the Economic and Social Research Council, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Prof Portes and Prof Tsuru will jointly examine the labour market impacts and policy responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK and Japan. Their work aims to contribute to finding solutions to the common problems that existed before the pandemic as well as inform policy in future. The project will run for three years. The UK team also includes Olga Siemers, Lecturer in Public Policy, and Daniel Susskind, Visiting Professor in the Department of Political Economy; and researchers from the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

The pandemic is a sudden and drastic global shock but has had very different impacts in different labour markets, and this shock will influence future labour market trends even after the immediate health crisis has been resolved.– Professor Jonathan Portes

Prof Portes said: “The pandemic is a sudden and drastic global shock but has had very different impacts in different labour markets, and this shock will influence future labour market trends even after the immediate health crisis has been resolved.

“Identifying the similarities and diversity of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the labour market and policy responses, as well as the changes in the perceptions and behaviour of people, companies, and governments, can contribute to finding solutions to the common medium and long-term problems that predated the pandemic.”

Each of the 10 funded projects will involve researchers from both the UK and Japan who have chosen to collaborate in areas of joint interest. The Economic and Social Research Council and the Arts and Humanities Research Council are contributing £3.5million towards the projects, with the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science contributing a further £1.9million.

Professor Alison Park, interim executive chair of the Economic and Social Research Council, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science to fund these projects.

“Together they demonstrate the breadth and relevance of the social sciences and humanities in tackling global issues arising from the pandemic.

“Most importantly, the projects will bring fresh perspectives to bear on many issues of major public and policy interest, providing valuable research evidence that can be used in decision making to bring about positive change.”

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You can find out more about the projects awarded funding here.

In this story

Jonathan Portes

Jonathan Portes

Professor of Economics and Public Policy

Olga Siemers

Olga Siemers

Senior Lecturer in Public Policy

Daniel Susskind

Daniel Susskind

Research Professor