COVID and LOCKDOWNS: "Fast and Local: Effect of Non-Pharmaceutical Interventions on COVID-19" (Bonardi et al. (2022), Management Science) [LINK]

We find that partial lockdowns were as effective in reducing the number of infections and deaths as stricter measures. We estimate that in developed countries, they reduced about 650,000 deaths, but we do not find such significant effects in developing countries.

MARITIME TRADE and CONFLICT: "Globalization mitigates the risk of conflict caused by strategic territory" (Gallea et Rohner (2021), Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)) [LINK] [DATA]

We find that while strategic locations may often be the object of armed competition, periods of international trade booms increase the incentives to protect trade routes and attenuate the conflict risk at strategically important locations.

LOCKDOWNS and AIR POLLUTION: "Saving the world from your couch: The heterogeneous medium-run benefits of COVID-19 lockdowns on air pollution" (Bonardi et al. (2021), Environmental Research Letters) [LINK]

Our research revealed that on average, we are reduced by approximatively 40% arguably the deadliest air pollutant: PM2.5 (particulate matters smaller or equal to 2.5 micrometers). Those small particles were responsible of more than 4mio deaths solely in 2015 (cf. Cohen et al. (2017)). We show that some country trajectories are much more appealing (with fewer COVID-19 casualties, less economic downturn and bigger pollution reductions) than others. Our results have important policy implications and highlight the potential to "build back better" a sustainable economy where pollution can be curbed in a less economically costly way than during the COVID-19 pandemic.

NATURAL GAS PIPELINES and DEMOCRACY: "Power in the Pipeline: Natural Gas Network and Leader durability" (Gallea, Morelli and Rohner (2022) Working Paper)

Drawing on our new gas pipeline data, this paper shows that gas centrality hollows out democracy, prolongs regime durability, fuels repression and alters the sanction vulnerability of central nodes. Overall, this reinforces the notion that fossil fuels are not just poison for the environment but also for democratic politics. Championing green transition becomes more urgent than ever.

FERTILIZERS, FOOD SECURITY and SUSTAINABILITY: "Threats to Nitrogen Fertilizer, Opportunities to Cultivate Sustainable Practices?" (Ayoubi et al. (2022) White paper) [LINK]

Shifting towards more sustainable practices while maintaining a viable level of food supply can be attained through several channels. Increasing nitrogen use efficiency (reducing loss and improving uptake), reducing food waste, and adapting our diets are the most promising and synergistic approaches.