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Can Well-being Effects of COVID-19 be Mitigated Amidst an Economic Crisis?

On-going research

Prof. Eran Feitelson and Yonat Rein, the Hebrew University in Jerusalem; Prof. Pnina Plaut and Smadar Amir, the Technion; Prof. Deborah Shmueli, Prof. Eli Salzberger, Dr. Alex Altshuler and Dr. Michal Ben Gal, University of Haifa


Analyses of the effects of COVID-19 tend to focus on the health and economic implications of the pandemic.  Yet, it is clear that there are wider effects, such as effects on social relations, stress, livelihood and effects on the environment. As is increasingly recognized, the GDP per capita is an insufficient measure to assess the state of countries and citizens within them (Stiglitz et al., 2009). Hence well-being is increasingly promoted as measures to assess the state of countries and citizens, and as a basis for policy decision-making. In particular the OECD (2017) advanced a set of 39 indicators for well-being. Similarly, since 2016, the Israeli CBS (Central Bureau of Statistics) has published a yearly report of  “Quality of life, sustainability and resilience”, based on 114 criteria in 11 fields (employment, personal safety, health, housing and infrastructure, education and skills, civic engagement and governance, environment, personal and social welfare, material standard of living,  leisure, culture and community and information technologies).

This research aims to identify the well-being criteria that are influenced by and influence the Coronavirus crisis, analyze these effects in the Israeli arena, identify policy measures that may have a positive influence on well-being, and suggest “policy packages” that may reduce negative influence and enable better life with the virus.

The first part of the study was conducted in collaboration with IIASA (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) as part of the agreement between the Government of Israel and IIASA, in which the possible effects of aiding systems analysis were identified.