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The Epidemic Effect: Epidemics, Institutions and Human Capital Development
Epidemics can negatively affect economic development unless they are mitigated by global governance institutions. We examine the effects of sudden exposure to epidemics on human capital outcomes using evidence from the African meningitis belt. Meningitis shocks reduce child health outcomes, particularly when the World Health Organization (WHO) does not declare an epidemic year. These effects are reversed when the WHO declares an epidemic year. Children born in meningitis shock areas in a year when an epidemic is declared are 10 percentage points (pp) less stunted and 8.2 pp less underweight ...
COVID-19 Vaccination and Financial Frictions
We study the COVID-19 epidemic in emerging markets that face financial frictions and its mitigation through social distancing and vaccination. We find that restricted vaccine availability in emerging markets, as captured by limited quantities and high prices, renders the pandemic exceptionally costly compared to economies without financial frictions. Improved access to financial markets enables better response to the delay in vaccine supplies, as it supports more stringent social distancing measures prior to wider vaccine availability. We show that financial assistance programs to such ...