COVID-19: TRR 266 Research Insights

Addressing the economic challenges caused by COVID-19

How can we minimize long-term damage to the economic system caused by COVID-19? A question that currently occupies the minds of our politicians, policymakers, CEOs, professionals and citizens. A question to which there is not just one answer, but that needs to be broken down into sub questions and requires careful reflection from different perspectives. We therefore asked our researchers – a group of more than 100 researchers who specialize in taxation and accounting and have different methodological backgrounds – to share their thoughts regarding this burning question. The result: a collection of articles based on current and previous research, ranging from business- to country-level and from economic consequences to standard setting. We hope this collection will offer helpful insights for businesses and politics, and helps the world address these challenging times. Our researchers will regularly add to our collection, so stay tuned!

Bankruptcies: A victim of the corona crisis?

Prof. Dr. Joachim Gassen
Prof. Dr. Urska Kosi

The number of German companies filing for insolvency proceedings (bankruptcy) fell astonishingly during the pandemic. This is revealed by a newly compiled insolvency database. Read More

Open Science in corona times

Prof. Dr. Joachim Gassen

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic three new projects have been initiated by the Open Science Data Center of the TRR 266. Read More

In the News

Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung: Company has split opinions on 3G

German Business Panel
18.01.2022 – Companies have very different assessments of the rules in the Corona pandemic (in German).


Mannheimer Morgen: Mannheim survey: Many companies fear bankruptcy because of Corona

German Business Panel
17.01.2022 – Mannheim University survey – profits slumped in December 2021 / Construction and retail industries reject 3G rule in the workplace (in German).


Mannheimer Morgen: Companies save and raise prices

German Business Panel
16.11.2021 – Mannheim Survey – Companies are cutting costs and making profits for the first time since the start of the pandemic – but this does not apply to the crisis industries (in German).


Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung: Companies dissatisfied with Corona policy

German Business Panel
21.09.2021 – Survey by the University of Mannheim: The situation is tense despite an improved Corona situation (in German).


Neue Westfälische: Paderborn University: Companies feel tax burden is too high

Caren Sureth-Sloane & Ralf Maiterth
09.07.2021 – Researchers from the University of Paderborn, Humboldt University Berlin and Freie Universität Berlin conducted a company survey (in German).


Interview – Economist Jannis Bischof on the mood in German companies

German Business Panel
15.06.2021 – “Skepticism prevails among many companies” – Mannheim economist on the mood of the German economy (in German).


Supply bottlenecks in industry: region particularly affected

German Business Panel
29.05.2021 – The industry is experiencing an economic upswing. But strong international demand is causing supply bottlenecks and rising prices for precursors (in German).


How your company does not become a “zombie”

Joachim Gassen & Urska Kosi
17.05.2021 – Zombie companies continue to pose a serious threat to the economy. Two experts assess the situation and explain how companies do not become “undead” (in German).


Debate on longer insolvency protection: “Can’t be done until the end of the day”

Joachim Gassen & Urska Kosi
29.04.2021 – The suspension of the obligation to file for insolvency will no longer apply as of May 1. Retailers, the hospitality industry and the travel industry are calling for the regulation to be extended, but experts are against it (in German).


“Zombie companies” could trigger wave of insolvencies

Joachim Gassen & Urska Kosi
23.04.2021 – Despite the pandemic, the number of insolvent companies is paradoxically low – for example, in the case of car repair shops. But appearances are deceptive, fear scientists who have built up an insolvency database (in German).


Numerous zombie companies in “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”

Joachim Gassen & Urska Kosi


Insolvency database in “Westfälisches Volksblatt”

Joachim Gassen & Urska Kosi


DIW President Fratzscher expects “Wave of Corporate Insolvencies”

Joachim Gassen & Urska Kosi
23.04.2021 – At the end of April, the corona-related suspension of the obligation to file for insolvency expires. This could force many businesses in distress due to the pandemic into bankruptcy (in German).


NDR Podcast about corona state aid

TRR 266 German Business Panel
24.03.2021 – Podcast interview with researcher Jannis Bischof about the effectiveness corona state aid in Germany (in German).


Survey: Companies dissatisfied with government measures

TRR 266 German Business Panel
10.02.2021 – At the beginning of December, just under one-third of companies expressed dissatisfaction with the government measures, in mid-January, it was almost 50 percent, according to the Corona survey by the German Business Panel. The proportion of satisfied companies fell to below 20 percent in the period (in German).


Businesses lose confidence in politics

TRR 266 German Business Panel
09.02.2021 – The second lockdown is increasingly getting on the nerves of businesses in Germany. More than a fifth of companies expect their own sales to never return to pre-crisis levels (in German).


December lockdown no killer

TRR 266 German Business Panel
08.01.2021 – The Corona crisis reduced the profits of German companies by 16.6 percent last year. That is the result of a representative study at the University of Mannheim. By the summer of 2020, the companies that suffered greatly from the first lockdown still had to accept losses of 22 percent (in German).


Entrepreneurs and the self-employed expect wave of insolvencies

TRR 266 German Business Panel
07.01.2021 – State aid in Germany has put the brakes on Corona’s decline in corporate profits. Nevertheless, entrepreneurs and the self-employed are expecting a wave of insolvencies across all sectors: On average, almost one in four businesses could not survive the crisis. (in German).


Local retail in the corona crisis

TRR 266 German Business Panel
05.01.2021 – How hard will the lockdown hit retailers? The answer to this question is complicated. Online retailers are not the only beneficiaries of the crisis – and not all local stores are struggling. A conversation with Prof. Dr. Jannis Bischof from the University of Mannheim (in German).


New regulations for winter state aid

TRR 266 German Business Panel
05.12.2020 – Corona – Federal government want to link compensation no longer to revenues but more strongly to fixed costs (in German).


University of Mannheim: A wave of bankruptcies threatens the gastronomy

TRR 266 German Business Panel
25.11.2020 – Corona pandemic – Mannheim study examines the consequences of the second lockdown for the largest industry in crisis (in German).


Firms fear second wave of infection in October

TRR 266 German Business Panel
28.9.2020 – According to a survey, half of all German firms have taken advantage of state aid to compensate for the sometimes severe sales losses caused by the Corona pandemic. 80 percent now expect a second wave – in October (in German).


Mannheim study on Corona consequences for economy: Every second company at risk

TRR 266 German Business Panel
26.8.2020 – The number of infections is rising, and further measures to contain the pandemic are also becoming more likely in Germany. Researchers at the University of Mannheim have investigated what this could mean for businesses (in German).


Mannheim Corona Survey: Companies are scared of second wave

TRR 266 German Business Panel
22.8.2020 – Without government support, more than half of the businesses in Germany would not have survived. This is the conclusion of a comprehensive study conducted by the University of Mannheim (in German).


Government support saves many companies during the crisis

TRR 266 German Business Panel
10.8.2020 – Results of the German Business Panel survey show: Almost every second company states it would not survive the corona pandemic without government support. 80 percent of the companies expect a second wave of infection (in German).


Coronavirus Unfolded – How the crisis increases the need for corporate transparency

Dirk Simons
6.7.2020 – How strong is the impact of the corona crisis on German SMEs? Is there even a threat of a market shakeout? And how should companies communicate their sometimes difficult situations? Dirk Simons answers these questions in the fifth part of University of Mannheim’s video series “Coronavirus Unfolded” (in German).


Change taxes in the crisis!

Deborah Schanz
28.5.2020 – It would help companies to offset current losses against profits, Deborah Schanz explains in a video for BR Wissen (in German).


Economic approach to corona policy: Warning against aid for individual sectors

Deborah Schanz
22.5.2020 – Loss carryback: How far should Germany go? Deborah Schanz discusses how the government could react to the economic challenges caused by the corona crisis.


Empty Cash Registers

Thorsten Sellhorn
30.4.2020 – Due to the Corona crisis, the revenues of many companies are collapsing. In an article in €uro Thorsten Sellhorn discusses the risks for DAX companies. (in German)


More effective ways for the government to help companies

Deborah Schanz & TRR 266 Tax Experts
24.4.2020 – Deborah Schanz, on behalf of the TRR 266 tax experts who issued a press release about immediate loss carryback, is interviewed by the Süddeutsche Zeitung. She argues that the loss carryback the German government introduced in response to COVID-19 is insufficient. (in German)


Maximilian Müller & Thorsten Sellhorn
21.4.2020 – Thorsten Sellhorn and Maximilian Müller are interviewed by the German Wirtschaftswoche about the implications of COVID-19 for the financial market. They argue, that at the start of the quarterly season, listed companies should not hide themselves and should provide their shareholders with sufficient information. (in German)


Maximilian Müller & Thorsten Sellhorn
20.4.2020 – An Article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Maximilian Müller and Thorsten Sellhorn discuss how in the current challenging times the financial markets long for reliable information, offering a piece of financial planning security. (in German)


Laurence van Lent
02.04.2020 –  In a blog for the Institute for New Economic Thinking Tarek Alexander Hassan, Stephan Hollander, Laurence van Lent and Ahmed Tahoun discuss their time-varying, firm-level measure of exposure to epidemic diseases.


TRR Tax Experts
28.03.2020 – In an article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine the proposed tax measure of immediate loss carryback, as suggested by our tax experts, is discussed. (in German)

Participating Institutions

TRR 266‘s main locations are Paderborn University (Coordinating University), HU Berlin, and University of Mannheim. All three locations have been centers for accounting and tax research for many years. They are joined by researchers from LMU Munich, Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, ESMT Berlin, Goethe University Frankfurt and Carl von Ossietzky University Oldenburg who share the same research agenda.