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How Effective was Eat Out to Help Out?
By Yannis Galanakis
Yannis Galanakis has won the Summer Vacation Research Competition (SVRC). His project examines the economic impact of the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme.
Now in its fourth year, SVRC, attracts Postdoctoral Research Associates, Research Assistants and Research Associates looking to gain additional project and line management experience through an established scheme in which they are supported by central and Divisional University colleagues.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about increasing unemployment, while many individuals have been furloughed. To alleviate the economic burden, the government followed a subsidising policy, “Eat Out to Help Out”, which has been accused of spreading the virus further.
In addition to the health costs, we do not have evidence of whether it was beneficial to the catering sector and wider economy. There has been no analysis to date and this project would be the first to investigate whether the touted economic benefits actually existed.
The “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme will be evaluated using unique big data provided by Companies House on business creation and the registration of restaurants in the scheme. We will analyse the scheme’s impact on the catering sector and examine the existence of spillover effects.
This project not only highlights the effectiveness of the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme, but it can also inform whether repeating a similar scheme after the third lockdown or during Summer 2021 may reduce unemployment and motivate business creation. To this end, results can inform whether a similar scheme could boost employment in Summer. The project’s findings will be communicated in the COVID19 Business Creation in the UK project, which attracts wider policy attention and media attention.
The project will have an external, long-lasting, and policy-oriented impact. Existing work analysing this data by the team at the University of Kent has been reported in the Financial Times, the Telegraph and used by various Government departments and the Bank of England.
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