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Essays on COVID-19 Research

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This book includes thirty-one selected studies that have been published in various ATINER academic journals since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. All of these studies have undergone a double-blind peer review process and have been accepted for publication. These studies cover research related to COVID-19 from a variety of research fields that include Health; Mass Media and Communication; Sociοlogy; Business and Economics; Tourism; Education; and Law.
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The presence of shadow money which has weakened the effectiveness of the monetary policy has been widely attributed to financial exclusion. As a result, the Central Bank of Nigeria since 2010 adopted financial inclusion as one of its goals for subsequent years. Explicitly, the rationale behind this is to guarantee financial access for all which can alleviate poverty, enhance employment creation and improve credit creation. Thus, the target is to absorb the unbanked populace largely in the informal sector into the formal financial system. Therefore, the study assessed the impact of financial inclusion on economic growth in Nigeria. The Auto Regressive Distributed Lag (ARDL) and Causality techniques were used to analyse data for variables viz; Gross Domestic Product, Loans to Rural Areas, Deposits from Rural Areas, Number of Bank Branches and Interest Rate for the period 1986-2018. The study discovered that financial inclusion has significant positive effect on economic growth while interest rate has a significant negative impact on economic growth. Meanwhile, the causality test revealed a unidirectional causality from economic growth to financial inclusion majorly through the channel of loans to rural areas. Thus, due to the credence given to financial inclusio n by the empirical results in the study as well as the role of economic growth in driving inclusion, it is recommended that loans extended to rural areas should be granted at lower and affordable rates with less bureaucratic demands as this factor is a maj or inclusion variable that guarantees growth according to the empirical findings.
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Educational life worldwide has been shaken by the closure of schools due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The ripple effects have been felt in the way both teachers and students have adapted to the constraints imposed by the new online form of education. The present study focuses exclusively on the beneficiaries of the educational process and aims to find out their perceptions of face-to-face and e-learning and their desire to return, or not, to the traditional form of education. These perceptions are represented by 604 students of the Politehnica University of Timisoara, who were asked to respond anonymously to an 8-question questionnaire between December 2020 and February 2021. The results show the respondents’ levels of desire to return to school (especially of those who have only benefited from e-learning) and their degree of involvement during online classes. The results also specify the advantages and disadvantages of the two forms of education from a double perspective, namely that of first-year students (beneficiaries of e-learning exclusively), and of upper-year students (beneficiaries of both face-to-face and e-learning). The study points out key information about e-learning from the students’ perspectives, which should be considered to understand the ongoing changes of the educational process and to solve its specific problems, thus ensuring its sustainability.
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This paper estimates the benefits and costs of state suppression policies to “bend the curve” during the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in the United States. We employ an approach that values benefits and costs in terms of additions or subtractions to total production. Relative to a baseline in which only the infected and at-risk populations mitigate the spread of coronavirus, we estimate that total benefits of suppression policies to economic output are between $632.5 billion and $765.0 billion from early March 2020 to August 1, 2020. Relative to private mitigation, output lost due to suppression policies is estimated to be between $214.2 billion and $331.5 billion. The cost estimate is based on the duration of nonessential business closures and stay-at-home orders, which were enforced between 42 and 65 days. Our results indicate that the net benefits of suppression policies to slow the spread of COVID-19 are positive and may be substantial. We discuss uncertainty surrounding several parameters and employ alternative methods for valuing mortality benefits, which also suggest that suppression measures had positive net benefits.
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Tourism is facing an unprecedented crisis whose sheer scope is dictating global transformation of the industry. The aim of this paper is to explore how different countries and destinations responded to the initial blow of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what is expected in the recovery and restart phases. A crisis management model was developed using data from 31 interviews with tourism organizations. The findings help identify the actions required to build resilience, emphasizing the responsibilities and interventions that can achieve tourism restoration. We point out implications for theory and practice in terms of incorporating policymakers’ perceptions, while also informing tourism organizations about policy development and the reformulation of strategies. This might support countries and destinations choosing the right path in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, addressing the negative and taking advantage of the positive repercussions.
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The survey focused on Contemporary Financial Practices and Going Concern of Manufacturing Corporations in Nigeria. The specific objective was to determine the effect of capital budgeting and working capital management practices as one of the contemporary financial management practices on sales growth of manufacturing corporations in Calabar, Nigeria and a cross-sectional design was used. Accounting and finance staffs of manufacturing corporations under investigation were used as targeted respondents. Sampling was done based on scientific reasoning; hence 123 accounting and finance employees were chosen and used for the study. Questionnaires with opened and closed ended questions were developed and used to collect data with application of Likert Scale to evaluate the variables. The facts were analyzed using multiple regression analytical technique. The results revealed that the two main financial management practices adopted by manufacturing companies had significant effect on sales. As a result, the study concluded that effective implementation and utilization of financial management practices in manufacturing firms leads to superior and progressed firm performance in terms of sales. The study suggested that managers/owners of manufacturing corporations in Calabar, Nigeria should make financial management practices a top priority, and that government and other regulatory bodies should equally create favorable policies for financial management practices implementation in the manufacturing industry.
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The paper aims to investigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on working capital management policies among Polish small and medium-sized enterprises operating in Group Purchasing Organizations (GPOs). The results show that the firms adopted a moderate–conservative strategy for their working capital management. Moreover, the evidence confirms that the COVID-19 pandemic crisis did not change Working Capital Management (WCM) strategies significantly. The companies that have high financial security as a result of the high ratio of Liquidity, Quick, and cash conversion cycle (CCC) have tried to attract more new customers in the market by increasing the due date of accounts receivable so they can improve their sales performance, and also reduce the liabilities turnover to be able to work with more suppliers in the market. Moreover, among the various WCM strategies, the companies with a higher CCC ratio, along with those whose bulk of current assets consisted of accounts receivable and short-term investments, managed to have higher sales returns. Finally, our outcomes indicate that the firms operating in large cities have lower sales returns, meaning even Polish small and medium-sized enterprises’ ability within GPOs with the aid of the central unit can also get high return on sales (ROS) results.
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This article examines and contrasts the long-run relationship between the working capital management and profitability of South African firms in the retail and construction industries over the period 2004–2015. Techniques used in the study included the cointegration technique as well as a Granger causality test. The study found evidence of a long-run relationship between working capital management and the profitability of a firm in most of the cases. Further to this, the presence of both unidirectional and bidirectional causality between working capital management and profitability was found. In addition, results presented in this study indicate that working capital management has a greater impact on the profitability of retail firms than construction firms. The value of the study lies in the fact that management in different industries should realize that working capital management will have an impact on different profitability measures, for example, inventory management in the construction industry will have the biggest impact on return on assets, whilst in the retail industry the impact of inventory management will be most significantly on the gross profit margin compared to other profitability ratios.
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An examination of over 100 Covid-19 studies reveals that many relied on false assumptions that over-estimated the benefits and under-estimated the costs of lockdown. The most recent research has shown that lockdowns have had, at best, a marginal effect on the number of Covid-19 deaths. Generally speaking, the ineffectiveness stemmed from individual changes in behavior: either non-compliance or behavior that mimicked lockdowns. The limited effectiveness of lockdowns explains why, after more than one year, the unconditional cumulative Covid-19 deaths per million is not negatively correlated with the stringency of lockdown across countries. Using a method proposed by Professor Bryan Caplan along with estimates of lockdown benefits based on the econometric evidence, I calculate a number of cost/benefit ratios of lockdowns in terms of life-years saved. Using a mid-point estimate for costs and benefits, the reasonable estimate for Canada is a cost/benefit ratio of 141. It is possible that lockdown will go down as one of the greatest peacetime policy failures in modern history.