Flu pandemic of 1918 hit poor economies hardest – ECB paper


Poorer countries’ economies were particularly affected by the influenza pandemic that began in 1918, a working paper published by the European Central Bank finds.  

In Macroeconomic risks across the globe due to the Spanish Flu, Roberto De Santis and Wouter Van der Veken use a non-linear method to assess how much different countries’ GDP declined during the pandemic.

The ECB paper finds that the typical country caused a cumulative fall in GDP of about 7.2%, with 70% of the damage occurring in

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