2014

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.


Reference:
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

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Interdisciplinary European Studies

The European Union and the Return of the Nation State

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This book explores the complex and ever-changing relationship between the European Union and its member states. The recent surge in tension in this relationship has been prompted by the actions of some member state governments as they question fundamental EU values and principles and refuse to implement common decisions seemingly on the basis of narrowly defined national interests.

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