The Covid-19 pandemic is an unprecedented event for the modern world in which we live. By the end of June, the virus had resulted in more than 500,000 deaths and infected more than 10 million people. To combat it, countries around the world have adopted lockdown measures of varying degrees of strictness. Great evils, one might say, call for drastic remedies. But while lockdown may seem unavoidable for saving human lives, pending effective therapeutic treatment, it does not have the same impact from one country to another as it does within each country. The differences between France and Germany, for example, and the increase in local inequalities, particularly in the labour market and in education, bear witness to this. In addition to this grim picture as regards health, Covid-19 has led to a self-induced economic and financial crisis, which has forced governments in developed countries to launch massive support plans. As always in crises, there will be winners and losers. On the upside, there are the major digital players, who have fared very well in the face of lockdown. And on the downside, there are sectors deemed non-essential for primary needs, such as the automobile industry, aeronautics or tourism.


Given this unprecedented situation, various innovative solutions have been put in place. Although it is still too early to make a precise and quantified assessment of the crisis, we can draw some initial lessons from it and see that it has significant consequences for the four societal transitions studied at the Institut Louis Bachelier (ILB), namely the digital, financial, environmental and demographic transitions.


In this new issue of the Cahiers Louis Bachelier, you will find an overview of the scientific work and thinking that has emerged in recent weeks at the ILB. The first article, based on the work of Bertrand Candelon, a specialist in economic crises, addresses the macroeconomic outlook, with the focus on the future of the Eurozone. The second piece consists of an interview with Christian Gollier, an economist specialising in ecological issues and a member of the Blanchard-Tirole commission, which is responsible for making recommendations for economic recovery in France. The third article details an original scientific study, carried out by researchers from the Digital Finance Chair, in particular David Bounie, which examines French consumer behaviour before and during lockdown, based on bank card transaction data. Finally, there is another interview, with Winston Maxwell, one of France’s leading personal data protection lawyers, who discusses the fight against the pandemic using digital tools, a closely followed topic in France.


Enjoy your reading and have a good summer!


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