IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/fip/fedfwp/87696.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Longer-Run Economic Consequences of Pandemics

Author

Listed:
  • Òscar Jordà
  • Sanjay R. Singh
  • Alan M. Taylor

Abstract

How do major pandemics affect economic activity in the medium to longer term? Is it consistent with what economic theory prescribes? Since these are rare events, historical evidence over many centuries is required. We study rates of return on assets using a dataset stretching back to the 14th century, focusing on 12 major pandemics where more than 100,000 people died. In addition, we include major armed conflicts resulting in a similarly large death toll. Significant macroeconomic after-effects of the pandemics persist for about 40 years, with real rates of return substantially depressed. In contrast, we find that wars have no such effect, indeed the opposite. This is consistent with the destruction of capital that happens in wars, but not in pandemics. Using more sparse data, we find real wages somewhat elevated following pandemics. The findings are consistent with pandemics inducing labor scarcity and/or a shift to greater precautionary savings.

Suggested Citation

  • Òscar Jordà & Sanjay R. Singh & Alan M. Taylor, 2020. "Longer-Run Economic Consequences of Pandemics," Working Paper Series 2020-09, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedfwp:87696
    DOI: 10.24148/wp2020-09
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.frbsf.org/economic-research/files/wp2020-09.pdf
    File Function: Full-text PDF
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.24148/wp2020-09?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Alfani, Guido & Murphy, Tommy E., 2017. "Plague and Lethal Epidemics in the Pre-Industrial World," The Journal of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 77(1), pages 314-343, March.
    2. Òscar Jordà, 2005. "Estimation and Inference of Impulse Responses by Local Projections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(1), pages 161-182, March.
    3. Brainerd, Elizabeth & Siegler, Mark V, 2003. "The Economic Effects of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic," CEPR Discussion Papers 3791, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Lukasz Rachel & Thomas D. Smith, 2017. "Are Low Real Interest Rates Here to Stay?," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 13(3), pages 1-42, September.
    5. Òscar Jordà & Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2013. "When Credit Bites Back," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 45(s2), pages 3-28, December.
    6. Gregory Clark, 2007. "The long march of history: Farm wages, population, and economic growth, England 1209–18691," Economic History Review, Economic History Society, vol. 60(1), pages 97-135, February.
    7. Schmelzing, Paul, 2020. "Eight centuries of global real interest rates, R-G, and the ‘suprasecular’ decline, 1311–2018," Bank of England working papers 845, Bank of England.
    8. Thomas Laubach & John C. Williams, 2003. "Measuring the Natural Rate of Interest," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 1063-1070, November.
    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. Adham Sayed & Bin Peng, 2021. "Pandemics and income inequality: a historical review," SN Business & Economics, Springer, vol. 1(4), pages 1-17, April.
    2. Fraser Summerfield & Livio Di Matteo, 2021. "Influenza Pandemics and Macroeconomic Fluctuations in Recent Economic History," Working Papers 210002, Canadian Centre for Health Economics.
    3. Arthi, Vellore & Parman, John, 2021. "Disease, downturns, and wellbeing: Economic history and the long-run impacts of COVID-19," Explorations in Economic History, Elsevier, vol. 79(C).
    4. Basco, Sergi & Domènech, Jordi & Rosés, Joan R., 2021. "The redistributive effects of pandemics: Evidence on the Spanish flu," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 141(C).
    5. Felipe Benguria & Alan M. Taylor, 2020. "After the Panic: Are Financial Crises Demand or Supply Shocks? Evidence from International Trade," American Economic Review: Insights, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 509-526, December.
    6. Òscar Jordà & Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2016. "Sovereigns Versus Banks: Credit, Crises, And Consequences," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 14(1), pages 45-79, February.
    7. Martin Geiger & Marios Zachariadis, 2019. "Assessing Expectations as a Monetary/Fiscal State-Dependent Phenomenon," University of Cyprus Working Papers in Economics 01-2019, University of Cyprus Department of Economics.
    8. Mikael Juselius & Claudio Borio & Piti Disyatat & Mathias Drehmann, 2017. "Monetary Policy, the Financial Cycle, and Ultra-Low Interest Rates," International Journal of Central Banking, International Journal of Central Banking, vol. 13(3), pages 55-89, September.
    9. Jordà, Òscar & Schularick, Moritz & Taylor, Alan M., 2015. "Leveraged bubbles," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(S), pages 1-20.
    10. Òscar Jordà & Moritz Schularick & Alan M. Taylor, 2020. "Disasters Everywhere: The Costs of Business Cycles Reconsidered," Staff Reports 925, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
    11. Funke, Manuel & Schularick, Moritz & Trebesch, Christoph, 2016. "Going to extremes: Politics after financial crises, 1870–2014," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 227-260.
    12. Glick, Reuven, 2020. "r* and the global economy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 102(C).
    13. Drehmann, Mathias & Juselius, Mikael & Korinek, Anton, 2017. "Accounting for debt service : The painful legacy of credit booms," Research Discussion Papers 12/2017, Bank of Finland.
    14. Carolin Pflueger & Emil Siriwardane & Adi Sunderam, 2018. "A Measure of Risk Appetite for the Macroeconomy," NBER Working Papers 24529, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Enrico Berbenni & Stefano Colombo, 2021. "The impact of pandemics: revising the Spanish Flu in Italy in light of models’ predictions, and some lessons for the Covid-19 pandemic," Economia e Politica Industriale: Journal of Industrial and Business Economics, Springer;Associazione Amici di Economia e Politica Industriale, vol. 48(2), pages 219-243, June.
    16. Patrik Kupkovic, 2020. "R-star in Transition Economies: Evidence from Slovakia," Working and Discussion Papers WP 3/2020, Research Department, National Bank of Slovakia.
    17. Òscar Jordà & Alan M. Taylor, 2019. "Riders on the Storm," FRBSF Economic Letter, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    18. Wix, Carlo, 2017. "The long-run real effects of banking crises: Firm-level investment dynamics and the role of wage rigidity," SAFE Working Paper Series 189, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    19. Fiedler, Salomon & Gern, Klaus-Jürgen & Jannsen, Nils & Wolters, Maik H., 2019. "Growth prospects, the natural interest rate, and monetary policy," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 13, pages 1-34.
    20. Francesca G. Caselli & Agustin Roitman, 2019. "Nonlinear exchange‐rate pass‐through in emerging markets," International Finance, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 279-306, December.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    depressions; natural rate; local projections; wars; real interest rate; pandemics; COVID-19;
    All these keywords.

    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

    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:fip:fedfwp:87696. 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/frbsfus.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: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/frbsfus.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.