Pandemic Risk: How Large are the Expected Losses? Fan, Jamison, & Summers (2018)

Link post

This is a link post to Pan­demic Risk: How Large are the Ex­pected Losses? by Vic­to­ria Y Fan, Dean T Jami­son, & Lawrence H Sum­mers (2018).

Ab­stract (em­pha­sis added):

There is an un­met need for greater in­vest­ment in pre­pared­ness against ma­jor epi­demics and pan­demics. The ar­gu­ments in favour of such in­vest­ment have been largely based on es­ti­mates of the losses in na­tional in­comes that might oc­cur as the re­sult of a ma­jor epi­demic or pan­demic. Re­cently, we ex­tended the es­ti­mate to in­clude the val­u­a­tion of the lives lost as a re­sult of pan­demic-re­lated in­creases in mor­tal­ity. This pro­duced markedly higher es­ti­mates of the full value of loss that might oc­cur as the re­sult of a fu­ture pan­demic. We parametrized an ex­ceedance prob­a­bil­ity func­tion for a global in­fluenza pan­demic and es­ti­mated that the ex­pected num­ber of in­fluenza-pan­demic-re­lated deaths is about 720,000 per year. We calcu­lated that the ex­pected an­nual losses from pan­demic risk to be about 500 billion United States dol­lars – or 0.6% of global in­come – per year. This es­ti­mate falls within – but to­wards the lower end of – the In­ter­gov­ern­men­tal Panel on Cli­mate Change’s es­ti­mates of the value of the losses from global warm­ing, which range from 0.2% to 2% of global in­come. The es­ti­mated per­centage of an­nual na­tional in­come rep­re­sented by the ex­pected value of losses varied by coun­try in­come group­ing: from a lit­tle over 0.3% in high-in­come coun­tries to 1.6% in lower-mid­dle-in­come coun­tries. Most of the losses from in­fluenza pan­demics come from rare, se­vere events.