Spanish flu victims at a barracks hospital on the campus of Colorado Agricultural College, Fort Collins, Colorado, in 1918. Even the Spanish flu, which killed an estimated 100 million people, did not cause a prolonged downturn. Photo: Getty Images Spanish flu victims at a barracks hospital on the campus of Colorado Agricultural College, Fort Collins, Colorado, in 1918. Even the Spanish flu, which killed an estimated 100 million people, did not cause a prolonged downturn. Photo: Getty Images
Spanish flu victims at a barracks hospital on the campus of Colorado Agricultural College, Fort Collins, Colorado, in 1918. Even the Spanish flu, which killed an estimated 100 million people, did not cause a prolonged downturn. Photo: Getty Images
Jie Gan
Opinion

Opinion

Jie Gan, Mei Jianping and Florence Wang

What 500 years of history tells us about the long-term economic impact of pandemics

  • Research shows that past pandemics had no statistically significant impact on real economic growth, inflation, interest rates, exports or wages
  • The economy will probably rebound rapidly after Covid-19, given the new monetary tools available – the stock market confidence is far from misplaced

Spanish flu victims at a barracks hospital on the campus of Colorado Agricultural College, Fort Collins, Colorado, in 1918. Even the Spanish flu, which killed an estimated 100 million people, did not cause a prolonged downturn. Photo: Getty Images Spanish flu victims at a barracks hospital on the campus of Colorado Agricultural College, Fort Collins, Colorado, in 1918. Even the Spanish flu, which killed an estimated 100 million people, did not cause a prolonged downturn. Photo: Getty Images
Spanish flu victims at a barracks hospital on the campus of Colorado Agricultural College, Fort Collins, Colorado, in 1918. Even the Spanish flu, which killed an estimated 100 million people, did not cause a prolonged downturn. Photo: Getty Images
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Jie Gan

Jie Gan

Jie Gan is associate dean, professor of finance and director of the Centre on Finance and Economic Growth at the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business. Prior to joining the CKGSB, she served as a professor (with tenure) at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and an assistant professor (tenure track) at Columbia Business School. Professor Gan holds a PhD in financial economics from MIT.

Mei Jianping

Mei Jianping

Professor Mei Jianping is a professor of finance at CKGSB, Associate Dean for Alumni Affairs and CKGSB Development Foundation, and director of the CKGSB Real Estate Research Institute. His major areas of research include international asset pricing and real asset finance.

Florence Wang

Florence Wang

Florence Wang is a final-year student at Princeton University studying public and international affairs with a minor in statistics and machine learning. Her undergraduate research recently won the Centre for Statistics and Machine Learning’s Best Independent Work prize. Upon graduation, she will join Bain Capital as an analyst in Boston.