DP15900 "Long GFC"? The Global Financial Crisis, Health Care, and COVID-19 Deaths

Author(s): Antonio Moreno Ibáñez, Steven Ongena, Alexia Ventula Veghazy, Alexander F Wagner
Publication Date: March 2021
Date Revised: June 2022
Keyword(s): COVID-19, curative beds, death ratio, Global Financial Crisis, local sovereign debt
JEL(s): G21, H1, I10
Programme Areas: Financial Economics
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=15900

Do financial-economic crises affect long-term public health? To answer this question, we study the connection between the 2007-2009 Global Financial Crisis and the 2020-2022 COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, we examine the relation between both macroeconomic and financial losses derived from the financial crisis and the health outcomes associated with the first wave of the pandemic. At the European level, countries more affected by the financial crisis had more deaths relative to coronavirus cases. An analogous relation emerges across Spanish provinces and US states. Part of the transmission from finance to health outcomes appears to have occurred through cross-sectional differences in health care facilities. Therefore, dampening financial-economic instability may yield long-term societal benefits.