Influenza Pandemics and Macroeconomic Fluctuations: 1871–2016

This study examined the impact of influenza pandemics on the macroeconomy in 16 countries over a century. The analysis found that pandemics affected business cycle fluctuations post-1870. By measuring GDP cycles using pandemic-induced mortality, the study contributed to understanding long-term economic growth and the impact of major health shocks like the Black Death, Spanish Flu, and COVID-19. Notably, even lower mortality pandemics can have significant economic conseqeunces.

Image courtesy of interviewee. December 5, 2023

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