Alejandro Buesa, Javier J. Pérez, Daniel Santabárbara: Awareness of pandemics and the impact of Covid-19, in: Banco de España (ed.), Documentos de Trabajo, No. 2123, May 2021.
“Awareness” about the occurrence of viral infectious (or other) tail risks can influence their socioeconomic inter-temporal impacts. A branch of the literature finds that prior lifetime exposure to signicant shocks can affect people and societies, i.e. by changing their perceived probability about the occurrence of an extreme, negative shock in the future. In this paper the authors proxy “awareness” by historical exposure of a country to epidemics, and other catastrophic events. We show that in a large cross-section of more than 150 countries, more “aware” societies suffered a less intense impact of the COVID-19 disease, in terms of loss of lives and, to some extent, economic damage.