29 June 2020
Online Symposium

Demographic Consequences of COVID-19

IIASA in collaboration with the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration is hosting an online symposium to share recent research and discuss challenges that demographers may face in studying demographic consequences of COVID-19.

© Chansom Pantip / Dreamstime.com

© Chansom Pantip / Dreamstime.com

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on public health and societies is not negligible. This includes significant behavioral changes, and some of the new behavioral norms, such as social distancing and hygiene norms, may stay in our societies for a long time even after a vaccine is developed. Certain restrictions introduced during the pandemic coupled with perceptions of risk and anxiety related to COVID-19 will most likely influence tourism and labor migration.

Given that COVID-19 is particularly lethal to older populations, large-scale pre-mature mortality can potentially affect the population age structure. As the pandemic is still ongoing, its overall impact on life expectancy is still uncertain, but it can be expected to vary significantly across the globe as well as across regions within a country. Currently, it is difficult or even impossible to make a comprehensive systematic analysis of mortality rates from COVID-19 since we simply do not know the true number of infected people. However, we can make some estimates by comparing weekly death counts of all-cause mortality for the similar periods before and after pandemics. It is also possible to observe some positive changes in life expectancy after the pandemic is over due to the so-called “harvesting effect”.

In order to prevent the spread of the virus and save lives, governments introduced different mitigation policies. These range from movement restrictions to social distancing, widespread testing, contact tracing and selective quarantine. Can we already evaluate which of these measures were efficient in terms of saving lives and which ones were not?

The aim of this symposium is to share the results of some recent research related to the issues mentioned above and to discuss challenges that demographers may face in studying demographic consequences of COVID-19. The symposium also serves as a platform to discuss and identify research directions where demographic approaches can provide scientific and policy contributions.

This symposium is organized jointly by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA) and the Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA). The collaboration between IIASA and RANEPA has a long tradition, that has most recently resulted in a series of important joint projects, such as population projections for Russia and its regions, developing Demographic Data Sheets and brochures that provide sophisticated analyses of demographic aspects, and presentations of joint research at Gaidar Forum. At this symposium we also invite speakers from other collaborative organizations to share the results of their innovative work.

Watch the conference

Program and presentation slides

Table caption
 Time (CEST)Presentation title

Sergei Scherbov (IIASA and RANEPA)

13:05-13:10WelcomeVladimir A. Mau, Rector at RANEPA
13:10-13:15WelcomeAlbert van Jaarsveld, Director General and CEO at IIASA
Part I
Chair: Sergei Scherbov
13:15-13:35Human cost of the COVID-19 pandemic: Excess mortality and years of life lost in Italian epicenters (Presentation slides)
Simone Ghislandi (University of Bocconi and IIASA) 
13:35-13:55Assessing the potential impact of COVID-19 on life expectancy (Presentation slides)
Guillaume Marois (University of Shanghai and IIASA)
13:55-14:15Potential impact of COVID-19 on population dynamics in Russian regions (Presentation slides)
Sergey Shulgin (RANEPA)
14:15-14:35Estimating infection fatality rates and herd immunity levels through demographics (Presentation slides)
Miguel Sanchez-Romero (Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences)
14:35-14:55Coffee break
Part II
Chair: Sergey Shulgin
14:55-15:15Demographic account of COVID-19 statistics (Presentation slides)
Dalkhat Ediev (North Caucasian State Humanitarian Technological Academy and IIASA)
15:15-15:35Desires for parenthood at the time of COVID-19 pandemic in Russia (Presentation slides)
Alla Makarentseva (RANEPA)
15:35-15:55Age, gender and COVID-19 infections (Presentation slides)
Tomas Sobotka (Vienna Institute of Demography of the Austrian Academy of Sciences)
15:55-16:50DiscussionModerator: Raya Muttarak (IIASA)

Collaborations between IIASA and the Russian Federation

Russia is a founding member of IIASA with forty-five years of continuous intensive cooperation resulting in a range of academic and science to policy achievements. Through this strategic partnership IIASA has helped Russia to find solutions to complex global challenges; develop its research base for systems analysis, and establish new multilateral scientific relationships.

Since 2008, IIASA has intensified its collaborations with the Russian Federation (Russia), leading to new joint research projects, increased interactions with Russian policymakers, significant scientific exchange through people, and a highly productive publication record.

Current projects include exploring the challenges and opportunities of Eurasian economic integration, how to minimize wildfires, population aging in Russia, and advancing the methods of systems analysis. Interactions now take place regularly between IIASA and representatives from Russian Ministries and the Administration of the President of the Russian Federation.

Knowledge transfer between IIASA and Russia is facilitated through multiple exchanges with Russian scientists who spend periods working in IIASA’s international and interdisciplinary research environment. The scientific output from these numerous formal and informal activities is highly productive, with almost 800 joint publications since 2008.

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Last edited: 30 June 2020


Sergei Scherbov

Distinguished Emeritus Research Scholar Social Cohesion, Health, and Wellbeing Research Group - Population and Just Societies Program

Symposium Program

Research at IIASA's World Population Program

Demographic perspectives of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic


Russian Demographic Data Sheets

Info sheet on IIASA Activities with Russia

International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
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