Tommy Bengtsson imparteix la conferència “The Spanish flu in Sweden: Its social gradient and long-term impact on income and health” en el marc dels Colloquium CED

Organize: Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics

Venue: Colloquium via Skype

Time: 12:00 - 13:00

Tommy Bengtsson és Fundador i Director (fins al 2014)- del Centre for Economic Demography de la Lund University (Suècia); Professor a la Lund University; Investigador a IZA World of Labor; i Investigador associat al “Labour Economics Programme” del Centre for Economic Policy Research-CEPR, de Londres (Regne Unit).

Abstract.- The Spanish flu in Sweden: Its social gradient and long-term impact on income and health.
The 1918 influenza pandemic had not only a massive instant death toll but also lasting effects on its survivors. Children born in 1919, and thus exposed to the H1N1 virus in utero, experienced worse socioeconomic outcomes and health at older ages than surrounding birth cohorts, as shown for a number of countries. Combining several sources of contemporary statistics with individual-level data for 1968–2012, we find that this was also the case for Sweden. Fetal exposure to the flu resulted in higher morbidity later in life and, for men, higher mortality, particularly in cancer and heart diseases. The effects on health were, however, small. Exposure to the flu during the fetal stage reduced the reaming life expectancy for adults by about three months, which is about the same as being born one year earlier. In addition, we find no effects on socioeconomic attainment and income later in life. As regards the instant death toll, which peaked among young adults, some scholars argue that social factors were important, others not. We find notable class differences in excess mortality but no class gradient. This makes us believe that exposure was the key factor; a conclusion strengthened by the facts that workers at large comparative to small factories had twice as high mortality in the flu.