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NEC Webinar: ‘The 1918-19 Influenza Epidemic and Economic Impacts in the US’ – Kevin Swift, American Chemistry Council

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NEC Webinar: ‘The 1918-19 Influenza Epidemic and Economic Impacts in the US’ – Kevin Swift, American Chemistry Council

May 28, 2020 @ 12:00 pm 1:00 pm

The coronavirus pandemic has fostered uncertainty over the course of the US and global economy, making the job of the business economist more challenging. But the world has faced this before, most notably during the 1918-19 influenza epidemic when war, death, famine and pestilence all came together. At that time, a much worse virus infected 500 million people, about one-third of the world’s population. The death toll is estimated from 50 million (including 675,000 in US) to 100 million, making it one of the deadliest pandemics in human history. The epidemic was a shock fostering a short recession. In addition to looking at the various waves of the epidemic and dispelling various myths, the presentation quantifies the effects on the US economy in terms of output, spending, jobs, wages, and other metrics.

Dr. Kevin Swift is the chief economist at the American Chemistry Council (ACC) in Washington, DC, where he is responsible for economic analyses dealing with markets, energy, trade, tax, and innovation, as well as monitoring business conditions, identifying emerging trends, and assessing the economic and societal contributions of chemistry. Prior to joining the ACC, Dr. Swift held senior level and executive positions at two major industrial market research consultancies.

Dr. Swift is a member of the Harvard Discussion Group of Industrial Economists, the National Business Economics Issues Council, and the Association of Industry Analysts. He is a member of The Wall Street Journal Forecasters’ Survey panel. After serving on the board of directors of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), he chaired the NABE Education Committee and for his service as a professional economist and contributions to the profession, he was elected a NABE Fellow. Dr. Swift was also one of the first to achieve NABE’s Certified Business Economist (CBE) designation and more recently served as president of NABE.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN! A link to the webinar will be sent prior to the event (by 11am, 5/28) to those who sign up. Registration will be open until 11am, Thursday, May 28, 2020. Any questions should be directed to


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