IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cge/wacage/479.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Pandemics and Protectionism: Evidence from the “Spanish” flu

Author

Listed:
  • Boberg-Fazlic, Nina

    (University of Southern Denmark)

  • Lampe, Markus

    (WU Vienna University of Economics and Business, CEPR)

  • Pedersen, Maja Uhre

    (University of Southern Denmark)

  • Sharp, Paul

    (University of Southern Denmark, CAGE, CEPR)

Abstract

The impact of COVID-19 on recent tendencies towards international isolationism has been much speculated on but remains to be seen. We suggest that valuable evidence can be gleaned from the “Spanish” flu of 1918-20. It is well-known that the world fell into a protectionist spiral following the First World War, but scholars have almost exclusively ignored the impact of the pandemic. We employ a difference-in-differences strategy on data for Europe and find that excess deaths had a significant impact on trade policy, independent of the war. A one standard deviation increase in excess deaths during the outbreak implied 0.022 percentage points higher tariffs subsequently, corresponding to an increase of one third of a standard deviation in tariffs. Health policy should aim to avoid the experience of the interwar period and consider the international macroeconomic impact of measures (not) taken.

Suggested Citation

  • Boberg-Fazlic, Nina & Lampe, Markus & Pedersen, Maja Uhre & Sharp, Paul, 2020. "Pandemics and Protectionism: Evidence from the “Spanish” flu," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 479, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cge:wacage:479
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/economics/research/centres/cage/manage/publications/wp479.2020.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Eichengreen, Barry & Irwin, Douglas A., 2010. "The Slide to Protectionism in the Great Depression: Who Succumbed and Why?," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 70(4), pages 871-897, December.
    2. Douglas A. Irwin, 2017. "Clashing over Commerce: A History of US Trade Policy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number irwi-2, december.
    3. Markus Lampe & Paul Sharp, 2013. "Tariffs and income: a time series analysis for 24 countries," Cliometrica, Journal of Historical Economics and Econometric History, Association Française de Cliométrie (AFC), vol. 7(3), pages 207-235, September.
    4. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Power and Plenty: Trade, War and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (Preface)," Trinity Economics Papers tep0107, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    5. Òscar Jordà & Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2017. "Macrofinancial History and the New Business Cycle Facts," NBER Macroeconomics Annual, University of Chicago Press, vol. 31(1), pages 213-263.
    6. Vellore Arthi & Markus Lampe & Ashwin R Nair & Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke, 2020. "Deliberate Surrender? The Impact of Interwar Indian Protection," NBER Working Papers 27178, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Douglas A. Irwin, 2011. "Peddling Protectionism: Smoot-Hawley and the Great Depression," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 9430.
    8. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588.
    9. Alan de Bromhead, 2018. "Women voters and trade protectionism in the interwar years," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(1), pages 22-46.
    10. Vellore Arthi & Markus Lampe & Ashwin Nair & Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke, 2020. "The Impact of Interwar Protection: Evidence from India," Working Papers 20200043, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised May 2020.
    11. Broadberry,Stephen & Harrison,Mark (ed.), 2005. "The Economics of World War I," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521852128.
    12. repec:aei:rpaper:1008560098 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Przeworski, Adam, 2009. "Conquered or Granted? A History of Suffrage Extensions," British Journal of Political Science, Cambridge University Press, vol. 39(2), pages 291-321, April.
    14. Douglas A. Irwin, 2017. "Introduction to "Clashing over Commerce: A History of US Trade Policy"," NBER Chapters, in: Clashing over Commerce: A History of US Trade Policy, pages 1-27, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Michael A. Clemens & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2004. "Why did the Tariff--Growth Correlation Change after 1950?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(1), pages 5-46, March.
    16. Robert J. Barro & José F. Ursúa & Joanna Weng, 2020. "The Coronavirus and the Great Influenza Pandemic: Lessons from the “Spanish Flu” for the Coronavirus’s Potential Effects on Mortality and Economic Activity," NBER Working Papers 26866, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Wolcott, Susan, 1991. "British Myopia and the Collapse of Indian Textile Demand," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 51(2), pages 367-384, June.
    18. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Introduction to Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium," Introductory Chapters, in: Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium, Princeton University Press.
    19. Feinstein, Charles H. & Temin, Peter & Toniolo, Gianni, 2008. "The World Economy between the World Wars," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195307559.
    20. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Preface to Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium," Introductory Chapters, in: Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium, Princeton University Press.
    21. Alan de Bromhead & Alan Fernihough & Markus Lampe & Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke, 2019. "When Britain Turned Inward: The Impact of Interwar British Protection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 109(2), pages 325-352, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. O'Rourke, Kevin Hjortsh�j, 2017. "Two Great Trade Collapses: The Interwar Period & Great Recession Compared," CEPR Discussion Papers 12286, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke, 2018. "Two Great Trade Collapses: The Interwar Period and Great Recession Compared," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 66(3), pages 418-439, September.
    3. Alejandro Ayuso‐Díaz & Antonio Tena‐Junguito, 2020. "Trade in the shadow of power: Japanese industrial exports in the interwar years," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 73(3), pages 815-843, August.
    4. Mitchener, Kris James & Wandschneider, Kirsten & O Rourke, Kevin Hjortshoj, 2021. "The Smoot-Hawley Trade War," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 550, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    5. Nicholas Crafts & Peter Fearon, 2010. "Lessons from the 1930s Great Depression," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(3), pages 285-317, Autumn.
    6. Douglas A. Irwin & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2013. "Coping with Shocks and Shifts: The Multilateral Trading System in Historical Perspective," NBER Chapters,in: Globalization in an Age of Crisis: Multilateral Economic Cooperation in the Twenty-First Century, pages 11-37 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Raúl Serrano & Vicente Pinilla, 2014. "New directions of trade for the agri-food industry: a disaggregated approach for different income countries, 1963–2000," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 23(1), pages 1-22, December.
    8. Douglas A. Irwin, 2019. "U.S. Trade Policy in Historical Perspective," NBER Working Papers 26256, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Miguel Tinoco-Zermeño & Francisco Venegas-Martínez & Víctor Torres-Preciado, 2014. "Growth, bank credit, and inflation in Mexico: evidence from an ARDL-bounds testing approach," Latin American Economic Review, Springer;Centro de Investigaciòn y Docencia Económica (CIDE), vol. 23(1), pages 1-22, December.
    10. Samuel Standaert & Stijn Ronsse & Benjamin Vandermarliere, 2016. "Historical trade integration: globalization and the distance puzzle in the long twentieth century," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 10(2), pages 225-250, May.
    11. Kris James Mitchener Author e-mail: kmitchener@scu.edu & Kirsten Wandschneider Author e-mail: kirsten.wandschneider@univie.ac.at & Kevin Hjortshøj O’Rourke Author e-mail: akevin.orourke@nyu.edu, 2021. "The Smoot-Hawley Trade War," Working Papers 20210061, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised Mar 2021.
    12. Alan de Bromhead & Alan Fernihough & Markus Lampe & Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke, 2021. "Four great Asian trade collapses," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 61(2), pages 159-185, July.
    13. Douglas A. Irwin & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2013. "Coping with Shocks and Shifts: The Multilateral Trading System in Historical Perspective," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization in an Age of Crisis: Multilateral Economic Cooperation in the Twenty-First Century, pages 11-37, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Simon J Evenett, 2019. "Protectionism, state discrimination, and international business since the onset of the Global Financial Crisis," Journal of International Business Policy, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 2(1), pages 9-36, March.
    15. Michele Fratianni & Francesco Marchionne, 2011. "The Limits to Integration," Chapters, in: Miroslav N. Jovanović (ed.), International Handbook on the Economics of Integration, Volume I, chapter 9, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    16. Vladimir Popov, 2010. "Development theories and development experience: half a century journey," Working Papers w0153, New Economic School (NES).
    17. Gregory Clark & Kevin H. O'Rourke & Alan M. Taylor, 2008. "Made in America? The New World, the Old, and the Industrial Revolution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 523-528, May.
    18. Ferreira, Pedro Cavalcanti & Pessôa, Samuel & dos Santos, Marcelo Rodrigues, 2016. "Globalization And The Industrial Revolution," Macroeconomic Dynamics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 643-666, April.
    19. Roger R. Betancourt, 2013. "Should the U.S. Lift the Cuban Embargo? Yes; It Already Has; and It Depends!," Annual Proceedings, The Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy, vol. 23.
    20. Gavin Wright, 2020. "Slavery and Anglo‐American capitalism revisited," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 73(2), pages 353-383, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pandemics; protectionism; trade JEL Classification: F13; I19; N74;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • N74 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services - - - Europe: 1913-
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:cge:wacage:479. 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: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dewaruk.html .

    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.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with 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.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Jane Snape (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/dewaruk.html .

    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.