ABSTRACT

Coronavirus and the Great Influenza Epidemic: Lessons from the 'Spanish Flu' for the Coronavirus' Potential Effects on Mortality and Economic Activity   [open pdf - 848KB]

From the Abstract: "Mortality and economic contraction during the 1918-1920 Great Influenza Epidemic provide plausible upper bounds for outcomes under the coronavirus (COVID-19). Data for 43 countries imply flu-related deaths in 1918-1920 of 39 million, 2.0 percent of world population, implying 150 million deaths when applied to current population. Regressions with annual information on flu deaths 1918-1920 and war deaths during WWI [World War I] imply flu-generated economic declines for GDP [gross domestic product] and consumption in the typical country of 6 and 8 percent, respectively. There is also some evidence that higher flu death rates decreased realized real returns on stocks and, especially, on short-term government bills."

Author:
Publisher:
Date:
2020-03
Series:
Copyright:
2020 Robert J. Barro, Jose F. Ursua, and Joanna Weng. Posted here with permission. Documents are for personal use only and not for commercial profit.
Retrieved From:
American Enterprise Institute: https://www.aei.org/
Format:
pdf
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application/pdf
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