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On Plague and Ebola in a Time of COVID-19


  • Cormac Ó Gráda


The global COVID-19 pandemic recalls the Ebola epidemic of 2014-15 and earlier much more lethal plague epidemics. All share several characteristics, even though the second and third plague epidemics dwarfed the both the 2014-15 Ebola outbreak and COVID-19 in terms of mortality. This essay reviews the mortality due to Ebola and plague and their lethality; the spatial and socioeconomic dimensions of plague mortality; the role of public action in containing the two diseases; and their economic impact.

Suggested Citation

  • Cormac Ó Gráda, 2020. "On Plague and Ebola in a Time of COVID-19," Working Papers 202022, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:202022

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    File Function: First version, 2020
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    RePEc Biblio mentions

    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics

    More about this item


    Plague; Mortality; Health; Economic history; COVID-19; Coronavirus;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • N - Economic History

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