The fight against the Covid-19 pandemic continues and is unfortunately not yet won. The latest available figures show a death toll of nearly 1.2 million people for more than 41 million cases worldwide. In Europe, especially France, the situation is no better, with the much feared second wave now having an impact, after the heavy toll in the spring of this year.


Faced with this situation, which is both unprecedented and difficult to manage, new restrictions are being imposed in France and neighbouring countries. We can only hope that these measures, which are binding on the population, are effective and reduce the transmission of the virus. However, their economic consequences are becoming apparent, given that 2020 has already been declared to be the worst recession since the Second Word War.


To reverse this negative trend and move forward, the European authorities have agreed on a common recovery plan. While this decision is, of course, a step in the right direction for combatting the crisis and fostering more robust European integration, the funding will only be released next year at best. In the meantime, European nations must organise themselves and resist the second wave as best they can. In France, this is reflected in particular by support measures for businesses, so that they can withstand this unprecedented shock.


At the Institut Louis Bachelier, our contribution to the recovery is through academic research. We are working alongside the public authorities and businesses to provide science-based recommendations and expertise. This latest issue of the Cahiers Louis Bachelier, focusing on the situation in France, contains top-level academic recommendations to feed and guide public debate. In the first interview, Brigitte Dormont, an economist specialising in health, gives her opinion on the management of the health crisis and her thoughts on how to improve the health system. In the second interview, Pierre Cahuc, a labour market expert, analyses the labour market support measures introduced by the government. The third contribution is based on new work from the Digital Finance Chair, co-directed by Marianne Verdier and David Bounie, which has collaborated with the Conseil d’Analyse Economique to study consumption and savings trends since lockdown, using banking data. The final article is based on recent work by Guy Meunier, associate researcher at the Energy & Prosperity Chair, who has conducted a survey to measure people’s motivations for limiting the spread of the virus. This work enabled a parallel to be drawn with the behavioural biases that need to be taken account of in environmental policies.


Enjoy your reading!

Jean-Michel Beacco,
Delegate General of the Institut Louis Bachelier