ECO Seminar/Webinar – Ilan Noy

january, 2023

27jan13:0014:00ECO Seminar/Webinar - Ilan Noy


Event Details

CEF.UP – ECO Seminar/Webinar

Friday – January 27th, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. | Room 305| Online


The Japanese Textile Sector and the Influenza Pandemic of 1918-1920


Ilan Noy – Victoria University of Wellington (joint work with Toshihiro Okubo and Eric Ströbl)



“The ongoing global pandemic has brought into sharp relief the possible interactions between the epidemiology of a virus, the structure of the economy and society that becomes exposed to it, and the actions chosen by government, individuals, and communities to combat it or ameliorate its economic impact. Surprisingly, there has not been sufficient research on these economic and policy interactions of the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic – the deadliest pandemic of the 20th century. The focus of much of the research has been on the pandemic’s mortality and other demographic impacts. This paper focuses on Japan, which as a minor participant, was not directly affected by World War I. We exploit the diversity of experiences with the pandemic and its attendant policy responses across Japanese prefectures; and investigate the importance of the pandemic’s toll (measured by excess mortality), and of non-pharmaceutical policy interventions (NPIs), in determining the pandemic’s economic impact. We do so by focusing on the production and employment in the textile sector, given the availability of data and the general importance of the textile sector for emerging economies (as Japan was at the time). We investigate the role of NPIs in ameliorating the economic costs for the sector during the pandemic years (1918-1920), and indeed find that the implemented NPIs were effective in ameliorating the pandemic’s economic consequences, rather than worsening them. In this case, there was no trade-off between money and life, but rather the two were complimentary.”




(Friday) 13:00 - 14:00

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