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Success Is Something to Sneeze At: Influenza Mortality in Cities that Participate in the Super Bowl

Charles Stoecker (), Nicholas Sanders () and Alan Barreca ()
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Charles Stoecker: Tulane University

American Journal of Health Economics, 2016, vol. 2, issue 1, 125-143

Abstract: Using county-level Vital Statistics of the United States data from 1974 to 2009, we employ a differences-in-differences framework comparing influenza mortality rates in Bowl-participating counties to nonparticipants. We estimate having a local team in the Super Bowl caused an 18 percent increase in influenza deaths for the population over age 65. Results are most pronounced in years when the dominant influenza strain is more virulent, or when the Super Bowl occurs closer to the peak of influenza season. We find no impacts on influenza mortality in hosting cities. Our findings suggest mitigating transmission at gatherings related to large spectator events could have substantial returns for public health.

Keywords: influenza mortality; Super Bowl; flu; influenza; public health (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I0 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2016
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