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Recessions and mortality: a global perspective

Sebastian Doerr and Boris Hofmann ()

No 910, BIS Working Papers from Bank for International Settlements

Abstract: Using panel data covering 180 countries over six decades, this paper shows that recessions are systematically associated with higher mortality rates. During years when GDP falls, death rates rise, primarily in emerging market and developing economies and there among children in particular. In advanced economies, death rates increase only slightly. We further nd that the scarring effects of recessions persist for several years and that deeper recessions lead to larger increases in mortality. In contrast, booms or periods of subdued growth are not associated with a marked decline in death rates. Our ndings have implications for the policy response to Covid-19 and suggest that the eventual death toll of the pandemic may be understated if the impact of the coronavirus recession is neglected.

Keywords: recession; mortality; pandemic; virus containment; lockdown; Covid-19 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E32 H12 I10 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 33 pages
Date: 2020-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-dem and nep-mac
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