New working paper: Pandemics, Economic Freedom, and Institutional Trade-Offs

I have a new working paper, this time with Ilia Murtazashvili, of the University of Pittsburgh. In this paper, we revisit the work of economic historian Werner Troesken who argued that countries that were historically well-equipped in terms of institutions to generate fast economic growth were poorly equipped to deal with infectious diseases such as smallpox. We argue that, using economic freedom, institutions actually targeted the costliest sources of mortality (such as typhoid) and that the trade-off of high wealth/limited ability to deal with smallpox is incomplete. The paper has been submitted for a special issue of the European Journal of Law and Economics.

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