The impact of pandemics: revising the Spanish Flu in Italy in light of models’ predictions, and some lessons for the Covid-19 pandemic

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Abstract

We consider some descriptive analysis of the main short- and medium-term economic indicators in Italy in the aftermath of the Spanish Flu pandemic. We analyse them in the light of the main neoclassical macroeconomic models of pandemics. Since most of the existing economic models about the consequences of a pandemic deal the pandemic event merely as a negative labour supply shock, we observe that some predictions of the theory about the economic impact of a pandemic seem not to be confirmed in the case of the Spanish Flu in Italy. In particular, economic indicators in Italy in the upsurge of the Spanish Flu need to be explained also in light of the consequences of the First World War. We use this evidence to discuss the predictions on the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. We stress the importance of putting the analysis of the economic consequences of the current pandemic into the appropriate historical context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)N/A-N/A
JournalEconomia e Politica Industriale
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Italy
  • Pandemic
  • Spanish Flu

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