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Modern Infectious Diseases: Macroeconomic Impacts and Policy Responses

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Listed:
  • David E. Bloom

    (Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health)

  • Michael Kuhn

    (Wittgenstein Centre, Vienna Institute of Demogrpahy)

  • Klaus Prettner

    (Vienna University of Economics and Business)

Abstract

*This paper is part of a Symposium organized by Dr. Remi Jedwab of the George Washington University that will appear in the Journal of Economic Literature.* We discuss and review literature on the macroeconomic effects of epidemics and pandemics since the late 20th century. First, we cover the role of health in driving economic growth and well-being and discuss standard frameworks for assessing the economic burden of infectious diseases. Second, we sketch a general theoretical framework to evaluate the tradeoffs policymakers must consider when addressing infectious diseases and their macroeconomic repercussions. In so doing, we emphasize the dependence of economic consequences on (i) disease characteristics; (ii) inequalities among individuals in terms of susceptibility, preferences, and income; and (iii) cross-country heterogeneities in terms of their institutional and macroeconomic environments. Third, we study pharmaceutical and nonpharmaceutical policies aimed at mitigating and preventing infectious diseases and their macroeconomic repercussions. Fourth, we discuss the health toll and economic impacts of five infectious diseases: HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, influenza, and COVID-19. Although major epidemics and pandemics can take an enormous human toll and impose a staggering economic burden, early and targeted health and economic policy interventions can often mitigate both to a substantial degree.

Suggested Citation

  • David E. Bloom & Michael Kuhn & Klaus Prettner, 2020. "Modern Infectious Diseases: Macroeconomic Impacts and Policy Responses," Working Papers 2020-17, The George Washington University, Institute for International Economic Policy.
  • Handle: RePEc:gwi:wpaper:2020-17
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    Cited by:

    1. Fraser Summerfield & Livio Di Matteo, 2021. "Influenza Pandemics and Macroeconomic Fluctuations in Recent Economic History," Working Papers 210002, Canadian Centre for Health Economics.
    2. Sebastian Doerr & Boris Hofmann, 2020. "Recessions and mortality: a global perspective," BIS Working Papers 910, Bank for International Settlements.
    3. Dang, Hai-Anh & Malesky, Edmund & Nguyen, Cuong Viet, 2020. "Inequality and Support for Government Responses to COVID-19," IZA Discussion Papers 13816, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. David E. Bloom & Victoria Y. Fan & Vadim Kufenko & Osondu Ogbuoji & Klaus Prettner & Gavin Yamey, 2021. "Going beyond GDP with a parsimonious indicator: inequality-adjusted healthy lifetime income," Vienna Yearbook of Population Research, Vienna Institute of Demography (VID) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, vol. 19(1), pages 1-1.
    5. Enrique G. Mendoza & Eugenio I. Rojas & Linda L. Tesar & Jing Zhang, 2020. "A Macroeconomic Model of Healthcare Saturation, Inequality and the Output-Pandemia Tradeoff," NBER Working Papers 28247, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Noy, Ilan & Uher, Tomáš, 2021. "Economic consequences of pre-COVID-19 epidemics: A literature review," Working Paper Series 9457, Victoria University of Wellington, School of Economics and Finance.
    7. Dang, Hai-Anh & Trinh, Trong-Anh, 2020. "The Beneficial Impacts of COVID-19 Lockdowns on Air Pollution: Evidence from Vietnam," IZA Discussion Papers 13651, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Pandemics; Epidemics; COVID-19; HIV/AIDS; Malaria; Tuberculosis; Influenza; Infectious Disease; Economic Burden of Disease; Economic Growth; Economic Epidemiology; SIR Model; General Equilibrium Macroeconomic Models; Health; Inequality; Welfare; Human Capital; Health Policy;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D15 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Intertemporal Household Choice; Life Cycle Models and Saving
    • D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
    • E10 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General Aggregative Models - - - General
    • E20 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - General (includes Measurement and Data)
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I15 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Economic Development
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I31 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - General Welfare, Well-Being
    • O40 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - General

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