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Longer-Run Economic Consequences of Pandemics

Author

Listed:
  • Oscar Jorda

    (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and University of California, Davis)

  • Sanjay R. Singh

    (University of California, Davis)

  • Alan M. Taylor

    (University of California, Davis, NBER, and CEPR)

Abstract

What are the medium- to long-term effects of pandemics? Do they differ from other economic disasters? We study major pandemics using rates of return on assets stretching back to the fourteenth century. Significant macroeconomic after-effects of pandemics persist for decades, with rates of return substantially depressed. The responses are in stark contrast to what happens after wars. Our findings also accord with wage and output responses, using more limited data, and are consistent with the neoclassical growth model: capital is destroyed in wars but not in pandemics; pandemics instead may induce more labor scarcity or more precautionary savings, or both.

Suggested Citation

  • Oscar Jorda & Sanjay R. Singh & Alan M. Taylor, 2022. "Longer-Run Economic Consequences of Pandemics," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 104(1), pages 166-175, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:104:y:2022:i:1:p:166-175
    DOI: 10.1162/rest_a_01042
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    JEL classification:

    • E43 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Money and Interest Rates - - - Interest Rates: Determination, Term Structure, and Effects
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • N10 - Economic History - - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Industrial Structure; Growth; Fluctuations - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N30 - Economic History - - Labor and Consumers, Demography, Education, Health, Welfare, Income, Wealth, Religion, and Philanthropy - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • N40 - Economic History - - Government, War, Law, International Relations, and Regulation - - - General, International, or Comparative

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