The Brazilian Bombshell? The Short and Long-Term Impact of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic the South American Way
47 Pages Posted: 29 May 2019 Last revised: 10 Apr 2020
Date Written: May 1, 2019
We analyze the repercussions of the 1918 Influenza Pandemic on demographic measures, human capital, and productivity markers in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the most populous city in South America today. Leveraging temporal and spatial variation in district-level estimates of influenza-related deaths for the 1917-1920 time-period combined with a unique database on socio-economic, health and productivity outcomes and determinants newly constructed from historical data, we find that the 1918 Influenza Pandemic had significant impacts on infant mortality, sex ratios at birth, literacy rates differentiated by gender, and agricultural productivity in 1920, the short-run. We find robust evidence that effects persist in 1940.
Keywords: 1918 Influenza Pandemic, Demographic Measures, Health, Education, Short-run, Long-run, Economic History, Sao Paulo Brazil
JEL Classification: N36, O12, I15, J10
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation