The Impact of the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic on Economic Performance in Sweden

Reprint No. 2014:35

Author(s): Martin Karlsson, Therese Nilsson and Stefan PichlerYear: 2014 Title: Journal of Health Economics Volume (No.): 36 (July) Pages: 1–9
Online article (restrictions may apply)
Preliminary version

We study the impact of the 1918 influenza pandemic on short- and medium-term economic performancein Sweden. The pandemic was one of the severest and deadliest pandemics in human history, but it hashitherto received only scant attention in the economic literature – despite representing an unparalleledlabour supply shock. In this paper, we exploit seemingly exogenous variation in incidence rates betweenSwedish regions to estimate the impact of the pandemic. The pandemic led to a significant increase inpoorhouse rates. There is also evidence that capital returns were negatively affected by the pandemic.However, contrary to predictions, we find no discernible effect on earnings.

Karlsson, Martin, Therese Nilsson and Stefan Pichler (2014), "The Impact of the 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic on Economic Performance in Sweden". Journal of Health Economics 36(July), 1–9.

Therese Nilsson


Ph: +46 46 222 4643
Mob: +46 73 396 7919

Sick of Inequality?

An Introduction to the Relationship between Inequality and Health

Sick of Inequality.jpg

In this book Andreas Bergh, Therese Nilsson, IFN and Lund University, and Daniel Waldenström, IFN and Paris School of Economics, France, review the latest research on the relationship between inequality and health. What does inequality mean for our health? Does increasing income inequality affect outcomes such as obesity, life expectancy and subjective well-being?


Seminars organized by IFN


To present ongoing research informal brown-bag seminars are held on Mondays at 11:30 am. This is an opportunity for IFN researchers to test ideas and results.

Academically oriented seminars are most of the time held on Wednesdays at 10 am. At these events researchers from IFN and other institutions present their research.

In addition, IFN organizes seminars open to the public. Topics for these are derived from the IFN research.

Research Institute of Industrial Economics, Grevgatan 34 - 2 fl, Box 55665, SE-102 15 Stockholm, Sweden | Phone: +46-(0)8-665 45 00 | info@ifn.se