Swiss coronavirus policy and companies
The pandemic forced Switzerland’s federally structured state to make rapid decisions. The research group will investigate how the adopted economic and health-policy measures interacted and how they impacted companies.
The project will set out to understand the interrelationships between cantonal and national measures and evaluate whether the support measures were effective and efficient. The research group will investigate how the cantonal authorities reacted to measures in other cantons; how the population responded; how companies held their ground; and what role the support measures played. The researchers will collect information on the support and health measures taken by individual cantons and combine them with company insolvency data, data from the monthly surveys of the KOF Swiss Economic Institute, mobility data for the Swiss population, and infection and hospitalisation data. The data will be analysed using multi-variable statistical models.
In crisis situations, decisions have to be made quickly and in the face of major uncertainties. Ensuring the necessary coordination between political decision-makers is a challenge in these circumstances. During the pandemic, different approaches were sometimes adopted by different cantonal authorities – which was potentially problematic given that decisions taken in one canton may impact other cantons.
The aim of the project is to gain a better understanding of the interrelationships not only between political decision-makers, but also with businesses, and then to formulate recommendations that will strengthen coordination, efficiency and resilience in Switzerland's government and businesses.
In crisis situations, effective and cost-efficient health and economic-policy measures have to be adopted without delay to safeguard living standards and welfare to the greatest extent possible and to create the framework for rapid economic and social recovery. During quieter periods, experience from the most recent crisis is thoroughly appraised to ensure that organisations retain the ability to act during crises.
Our results will give decision-makers in society points of reference that they can use in future crises. Improving our understanding of the interrelationships between different areas and levels of government will help speed up decision-making in times of crisis. Insights into the relationship between economic support measures and corporate development will help further improve the efficiency of support during future crises.
Drivers, impacts and interrelationships of cantonal policies and firm behaviour during the pandemic years in Switzerland