COVID-19 related research at VID

The COVID-19 pandemic is causing serious health, social and economic challenges, several of which are directly related to demographic factors. While the initial efforts focus on slowing the spread of the pandemic and mitigating its immediate impact, significant demography-related consequences are expected in the longer term. Researchers at the Vienna Institute of Demography (Austrian Academy of Sciences) address the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences from various scientific perspectives.


Consequences of COVID-19 pandemic for births and fertility trends

Tomas Sobotka, Zuzanna Brzozowska,  Maria Winkler-Dworak
(Fertility and Family,Economic Demography)
Past evidence suggests that in uncertain times fertility plans are often postponed or abandoned. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought massive level of disruption to our lives. As a result, high-income countries, many of which experienced very low and declining fertility already in the pre-pandemic era, are likely to see a sizeable decline in the number of births. more


An indirect method to monitor the fraction of people ever infected with COVID-19: an application to the United States

Vanessa Di Lego,  Miguel Sanchez-Romero,  Alexia Prskawetz
(Economic Demography, Health & Longevity)
The number of COVID-19 infections is key for accurately monitoring the pandemics. However, due to differential testing policies, asymptomatic individuals and limited large-scale testing availability, it is challenging to detect all cases. Seroprevalence studies aim to address this gap by retrospectively assessing the number of infections, but they can be expensive and time-intensive, limiting their use to specific population subgroups. more


How to distribute the jabs: coordinating lockdowns and the allocation of scarce COVID vaccines

Stefan Wrzaczek,  Alexia Prskawetz, Miguel Sanchez-Romero, Gustav Feichtinger
(Economic Demography)
We take an established SIR epidemiological model with different risk groups (working people and people in retirement) and value the development of the epidemics in economic and in health economics terms. more


News from the front: Estimation of excess mortality and life expectancy in the major epicenters of the COVID-19 pandemic in Italy

Markus Sauerberg
(Health & Longevity)
In this research, we investigate the impact of COVID-19 on mortality levels and trends in the most severely hit Italian provinces (Bergamo, Brescia, Cremona, Lodi, and Piacenza). Instead of relying on the number of COVID-19 tested deaths, which is likely to be underreported, we focus on reliable administrative all-cause mortality data obtained from the Italian Statistical Office (ISTAT).  more


Demographics of COVID-19 Deaths

Markus Sauerberg
(Health & Mortality) 
The number of COVID-19 deaths varies substantially between countries and researchers are trying to dig out the underlying reasons for the observed country differentials. Comparing COVID-19 deaths across countries is challenging, however, because of differences in testing coverage and disparities in the definition of COVID-19 mortality. The aim of this project is therefore to create and maintain a comprehensive database providing not only COVID-19 death counts, but also the corresponding metadata, i.e., detailed information about the data collection procedure. It is an international project which operates through the collaboration of several researchers who provide the data for the different countries. Markus Sauerberg covers the part for Austria. more


COVID-19 vulnerability index for Austrian municipalities

Leora Courtney-Wolfman, Roman Hoffmann
(Migration, Education and Environment)
A variety of factors can influence individual vulnerability amid the COVID 19 pandemic. Vulnerable groups are not only the elderly or those with a weak health condition and comorbidities, but also socioeconomically disadvantaged groups who might struggle to cope with the consequences of the crisis. Measuring and mapping vulnerability is important to inform health authorities and policy makers and to enable them to develop adequate responses.  more


Risk perception in the US based on PEW data

Leora Courtney-Wolfman, Roman Hoffmann
(Migration, Education and Environment)
Risk perceptions, which are strongly influenced by a person’s social background and education, are an important behavioral factor influencing individual responses in times of distress or in emergency situations. Better understanding how perceptions are formed and what their underlying determinants are is important to more effectively prepare populations for future health crises. more


Gender differences in COVID-19 pandemic in Europe

Tomas Sobotka, Zuzanna Brzozowska,  Vanessa di Lego
(Fertility and Family, Health & Longevity)
COVID-19 deaths are unequally distributed by gender: men dominate the statistics of deaths and have much higher case fatality rate than women. This contrasts with a slight female dominance in the reported number of COVID-19 cases in most countries in Europe. more


How many lives can be saved? A global view on the impact of testing, herd immunity and demographics on COVID-19 fatality rates

Vanessa Di Lego,Miguel Sanchez-Romero,Alexia Prskawetz
(Economic Demography, Health & Longevity)
We identify the role of demographics (population size and population age distribution) on COVID-19 fatality rates and quantify the maximum number of lives that can be saved according to different testing strategies, different levels of herd immunity, and specific population characteristics. more


Optimally controlling a pandemic across networks

Michael Freiberger,Michael Kuhn, Stefan Wrzaczek
(Economic Demography)
There are strong differences in the extent to which different groups of the population - by region, age, predisposition, occupation) - are affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In this project we explore how testing and social distancing policies should optimally accommodate the differences across such "population clusters" or networks. more


Modelling human-environment interaction under the risk of zoonosis

Michael Kuhn, Stefan Wrzaczek
(Economic Demography)
The COVID19 pandemic has clearly exposed the risk of the transmission of pathogens from animal populations to human populations, a risk that is prone to magnify with the further exploitation of the natural environment. In this project, we explore by way of mathematical modelling the human-environment interaction under the risk of pathogen transmission. more


Optimal lock-down policies: an OR approach

Stefan Wrzaczek,  Alexia Prskawetz,  Gustav Feichtinger
(Economic Demography)
We take an established SIR epidemiological model and value the development of the epidemics in economic and in health economics terms. Based on this model we derive the optimal begin and the optimal length of the current shut down. more


Assessing the macroeconomic burden of COVID19

Michael Kuhn
(Economic Demography)
Up to now the COVID-19 pandemic, together with severe social distancing measures for keeping it at bay, have already caused an enormous macroeconomic burden. More worryingly, how long this burden may stretch into the future remains unclear. In this project, we calculate the macroeconomic burden of COVID-19 for a large number of countries and scenarios about the progression of the pandemic. more


Coming to grips with a viral macroeconomic literature on COVID19

Michael Kuhn
(Economic Demography)
Matching the unprecedented speed at which COVID19 has spread across the globe, a literature is emerging that deals with the economic repercussions of the pandemic. We provide a timely review of this literature together with the extant literature on infectious diseases and summarize the key insights for successfully managing the economic consequences of the pandemic. more


COVID-19 tracker

Zuzanna Brzozowska
(Fertility and Family)
COVID-19 tracker displays time-series of selected indicators for selected countries in comparative perspective. The tracker shows total cases, new cases, deaths, and derived relative indicators. more