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Household risk strategies during a pandemic – experiences from the 1918 influenza pandemic
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR). Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Unit of Economic History.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1413-3707
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS). Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2591-6579
2023 (English)In: Scandinavian Economic History Review, ISSN 0358-5522, E-ISSN 1750-2837, Vol. 71, no 1, p. 36-57Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In 2020, The COVID-19 crisis has put great pressure on the economy worldwide. Only time can tell whether the COVID-19 crisis will have permanent effects on corporate and household behaviour and how it will affect society at large. This article examines historical experiences of how households managed the financial consequences of rising mortality during the 1918 influenza pandemic. We find that the previous pandemic led to an immediate and major increase in primarily small-sum industrial life insurance policies designed for blue-collar workers. The increase in new policies did not, however, have a lasting effect. By the time the pandemic had faded, the number of policies had dropped to below pre-pandemic conditions. This historical experience underlines the fact that there are limits to the extent to which even a major shock, such as a pandemic, can lead to behavioural change among households as currently being predicted in relation to COVID-19.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Routledge, 2023. Vol. 71, no 1, p. 36-57
Keywords [en]
Pandemic, household, insurance
National Category
Economic History
Research subject
Economic History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-188928DOI: 10.1080/03585522.2021.1984294ISI: 000711783500001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85118272129OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-188928DiVA, id: diva2:1606330
Funder
Marianne and Marcus Wallenberg Foundation, 2016.0028Available from: 2021-10-27 Created: 2021-10-27 Last updated: 2023-07-13Bibliographically approved

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Andersson, Lars FredrikLiselotte, Eriksson

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Andersson, Lars FredrikLiselotte, Eriksson
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Centre for Demographic and Ageing Research (CEDAR)Unit of Economic HistoryUmeå Centre for Gender Studies (UCGS)
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Scandinavian Economic History Review
Economic History

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