Unequal Mortality During the Spanish Flu

29 Pages Posted: 11 Feb 2021

See all articles by Sergi Basco

Sergi Basco

Universitat Barcelona

Jordi Domenech

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid

Joan R. Rosés

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - London School of Economics

Date Written: February 2021

Abstract

The outburst of deaths and cases of Covid-19 around the world has renewed the interest to understand the mortality effects of pandemics across regions, occupations, age and gender. The Spanish Flu is the closest pandemic to Covid-19. Mortality rates in Spain were among the largest in today's developed countries. Our research documents a substantial heterogeneity on mortality rates across occupations. The highest mortality was on low-income workers. We also record a rural mortality penalty that reversed the historical urban penalty temporally. The higher capacity of certain social groups to isolate themselves from social contact could explain these mortality differentials. However, adjusting mortality evidence by these two factors, there were still large mortality inter-provincial differences for the same occupation and location, suggesting the existence of a regional component in rates of flu contagion possibly related to climatic differences.

JEL Classification: I14, J1, N34

Suggested Citation

Basco, Sergi and Domenech, Jordi and Rosés, Joan R., Unequal Mortality During the Spanish Flu (February 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3784021

Sergi Basco (Contact Author)

Universitat Barcelona ( email )

Barcelona
Spain

Jordi Domenech

Universidad Carlos III de Madrid ( email )

CL. de Madrid 126
Madrid, Madrid 28903
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://portal.uc3m.es/portal/page/portal/dpto_ciencias_sociales/home/faculty/Jordi%20Domenech

Joan R. Rosés

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - London School of Economics ( email )

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