IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Success Is Something to Sneeze At: Influenza Mortality in Cities that Participate in the Super Bowl


  • Charles Stoecker

    () (Tulane University)

  • Nicholas J. Sanders

    () (College of William and Mary)

  • Alan Barreca

    () (Tulane University)


Using county-level Vital Statistics of the United States data from 1974 to 2009, we employ a differences-in-differences framework comparing influenza mortality rates in Bowl-participating counties to nonparticipants. We estimate having a local team in the Super Bowl caused an 18 percent increase in influenza deaths for the population over age 65. Results are most pronounced in years when the dominant influenza strain is more virulent, or when the Super Bowl occurs closer to the peak of influenza season. We find no impacts on influenza mortality in hosting cities. Our findings suggest mitigating transmission at gatherings related to large spectator events could have substantial returns for public health.

Suggested Citation

  • Charles Stoecker & Nicholas J. Sanders & Alan Barreca, 2016. "Success Is Something to Sneeze At: Influenza Mortality in Cities that Participate in the Super Bowl," American Journal of Health Economics, MIT Press, vol. 2(1), pages 125-143, Winter.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:amjhec:v:2:y:2016:i:1:p:125-143

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text PDF
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Carrieri, V.; & Jones, A.M.; & Principe, F.;, 2018. "Health shocks and labour market outcomes: evidence from professional football," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 18/01, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    2. Markowitz, Sara & Nesson, Erik & Robinson, Joshua J., 2019. "The effects of employment on influenza rates," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 34(C), pages 286-295.
    3. Viviane Sanfelice, 2020. "Mosquito-Borne Disease and Newborn Health," DETU Working Papers 2001, Department of Economics, Temple University.
    4. J. James Reade & Carl Singleton, 2020. "Demand for Public Events in the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Case Study of European Football," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2020-09, Department of Economics, Reading University.
    5. Matthew Olczak & J. James Reade & Matthew Yeo, 2020. "Mass Outdoor Events and the Spread of an Airborne Virus: English Football and Covid-19," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2020-19, Department of Economics, Reading University.
    6. J. James Reade & Dominik Schreyer & Carl Singleton, 2020. "Eliminating supportive crowds reduces referee bias," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2020-25, Department of Economics, Reading University.
    7. Pichler, Stefan & Ziebarth, Nicolas R., 2019. "Reprint of: The pros and cons of sick pay schemes: Testing for contagious presenteeism and noncontagious absenteeism behavior," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 86-104.
    8. J. James Reade & Dominik Schreyer & Carl Singleton, 2020. "Echoes: what happens when football is played behind closed doors?," Economics Discussion Papers em-dp2020-14, Department of Economics, Reading University.
    9. Vincenzo Carrieri & Andrew M. Jones & Francesco Principe, 2020. "Productivity Shocks and Labour Market Outcomes for Top Earners: Evidence from Italian Serie A," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 82(3), pages 549-576, June.

    More about this item


    influenza mortality; Super Bowl; flu; influenza; public health;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I0 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - General
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:amjhec:v:2:y:2016:i:1:p:125-143. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Ann Olson). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.