In a new article, Professor Nathan Sussman, director of the Graduate Institute's Centre for Finance and Development, analyses cross-country evidence to find out what the impacts of increasing the number of hospital beds are on mortality from COVID-19. He compares available data from sixty-six different countries around the world.
Professor Sussman finds that increasing the number of hospital beds has a significant and quite substantial impact on mortality rates. Therefore, he concludes that hospital capacity is crucial in reducing the deaths of infected people. In view of a possible second or third wave of infections, Professor Sussman therefore states that countries short on medical infrastructures should increase them immediately.
Professor Sussman finds that the number of hospital beds is a good measuring unit, which likely captures the capacity of intensive care units, laboratories, and other hospital-related equipment. His analyses also control for different contributing factors, including economic, institutional, and temporal factors.
Professor Sussman’s article is published in the latest issue (issue 11) of the online peer-reviewed review Covid Economics from the Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR). This review is edited by Charles Wyplosz, honorary professor at the Centre for Finance and Development. Since the beginning of April 2020, this new online review has already published eleven issues with numerous insightful articles from economists from around the world.