How Economists Ignored the Spanish Flu Pandemic in 1918–1920

Authors

  • Mauro Boianovsky Universidade de Brasilia
  • Guido Erreygers University of Antwerp, University of Melbourne

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.549

Abstract

The current Covid-19 pandemic has attracted significant attention from epidemiologists and economists alike. This differs from the 1918–1920 Spanish influenza pandemic, when academic economists hardly paid attention to its economic features, despite its very high death toll. We examine the reasons for that by contrasting the ways epidemiologists and economists reacted to the Spanish flu at the time and shortly after the pandemic. We also explore, but less extensively, some economic and epidemiologic writings during the twenty-five years that followed.

Author Biographies

Mauro Boianovsky, Universidade de Brasilia

Mauro Boianovsky is a professor of economics at the Department of Economics at Universidade de Brasilia, Brazil. He holds a PhD in economics from Cambridge University, and has published a number of articles, book chapters, and books in the field of history of economics. He served as president of the History of Economics Society in 2016–2017.

Guido Erreygers, University of Antwerp, University of Melbourne

Guido Erreygers is a professor of economics at the Department of Economics at the University of Antwerp, Belgium, and visiting researcher at the Centre for Health Policy at the University of Melbourne, Australia. He holds a PhD in economics from Université Paris X – Nanterre, and has published in both history of economic thought journals and health economics journals. He has also edited and co-edited several books.

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Published

2021-05-23

How to Cite

Boianovsky, M., & Erreygers, G. (2021). How Economists Ignored the Spanish Flu Pandemic in 1918–1920. Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics, 14(1), aa–aa. https://doi.org/10.23941/ejpe.v14i1.549