Summary of Epidemics and Economics

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Epidemics and Economics summary
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The suffering of individuals during outbreaks of viruses such as Ebola and Zika is devastating, but these and other diseases, such as influenza, malaria and tuberculosis, can have lasting and widespread effects on economic growth. In this illuminating article, health care experts David E. Bloom, Daniel Cadarette and JP Sevilla sketch the direct and indirect costs – and their uneven impacts among populations – of epidemics and suggest some straightforward cost-containment ideas. getAbstract recommends this frank overview to health care and human resources professionals.

In this summary, you will learn

  • What financial impacts epidemics have on the global economy,
  • What challenges countries face in fighting disease, and 
  • What policy makers can do to manage the health and economic risks of epidemics. 
 

About the Authors

David E. Bloom is a professor at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health, where Daniel Cadarette is a research assistant and JP Sevilla is a research associate. 

 

Summary

Epidemics, pandemics and outbreaks of disease have substantial economic consequences. Some illnesses, such as malaria and tuberculosis, are common in certain regions and require ongoing, significant expenditures. Others, like influenza, make their way around the world periodically. But they all impose financial burdens directly on a nation’s health care system, and they also inflict indirect costs, in terms of lost wages and lower productivity. Trade and tourism can steeply decline, and economic effects can reverberate, touching even countries not usually subject to contagion. Epidemics do bring monetary gains to the pharmaceutical industry, but they financially hurt insurance companies and the poor.


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