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Economics of Ebola research

The recent outbreak of Ebola in West Africa has generated global alarm; attention is now turning to its economic consequences, which may add to the damage caused by the disease.

In response, the IGC’s Economics of Ebola initiative aims to support the Governments of Sierra Leone and Liberia and their development partners by producing and disseminating credible demand-driven research, data, and analysis to ensure that policy responses are evidence based and that corrective actions are effective and well targeted.

Under the current special call for proposals, the IGC is funding several research projects across Sierra Leone and Liberia on the economic impacts of the crisis and also welcomes research requests from policymakers and development partners on emerging policy questions.

This page collates the results of research on the economic impacts of Ebola led by the IGC and by development partners in order to make their policy implications more accessible.



Results & Policy Notes

(Papers, Reports, Bulletins)


Sierra Leone

The economic impact of Ebola: Monitoring the impact of potential transport disruptions on traders, food availability, and market prices IGC_Logo_Full
& Innovations for Poverty Action
Bulletins: February 2016June 2015, January 2015November 2014
Reports: October 2014September 2014
The socio-economic impacts of Ebola in Sierra Leone IGC_Logo_Full
& World Bank
Results from a High Frequency Cell Phone Survey: Round 3, June 15, 2015, Round 2, April 15, 2015, Round 1, January 12, 2015
The economic impacts of Ebola on firms in Sierra Leone IGC_Logo_Full
& Innovations for Poverty Action
How did Ebola impact the economic lives of adolescent girls? Evidence on pregnancies, human capital accumulation, and labour force participation in Sierra Leone IGC_Logo_Full Forthcoming


The impact on jobs and firms of the Ebola outbreak IGC_Logo_Full
& Building Markets Liberia
Publication: [October 2015]
Article (open access)
Population-based surveys [of Monrovia] to inform Ebola recovery [including health, employment, food security, effectiveness of outreach messages, etc.] IGC_Logo_Full,
MIT Governance Lab & Parley Liberia
Bulletin: [May ’15]
Data for Ebola Recovery: Results from a Population-Based Survey of Monrovia [Webpage]
Publication(s) forthcoming
Dec 6, 2014 – Jan 7, 2015
Using SMS data to improve Ebola models and estimate the impact of Ebola on healthcare seeking behaviour in Liberia IGC_Logo_Full Bulletin: [June ’15]
Other publication(s) forthcoming
The lives of urban youth: Before and after the Ebola epidemic IGC_Logo_Full
Innovations for Poverty Action
The effect of the Ebola outbreak on political trust, attitudes, and voting Behaviour IGC_Logo_Full
A study of the economic impact of the Ebola crisis on Monrovians living on US$1 a day or less IGC_Logo_Full Forthcoming
The socio-economic impacts of Ebola in Liberia World Bank Group, Gallup & LISGIS Results from a High Frequency Cell Phone Survey: Round 5, April 15, 2015; Round 4, February 24, 2015; Round 3, January 12, 2015;
Rounds 1 and 2, November 19, 2014
Economic impact of the Ebola crisis on select Liberian markets MercyCorps Focus on Monrovia and Lofa and Nimba Counties, November 4, 2014
The impact of Ebola Virus Disease on village savings and loans associations Food and Agricultural Organisation Montserrado, Margibi, Bong and Lofa Counties, Dec 2014 December 2014


Health-care worker mortality and the legacy of the Ebola epidemic World Bank Group Lancet Global Health Journal (open access)
Press release
Ebola response World Bank Group Response page Pledge tracker (.xlsx), updated monthly
The economic impact of Ebola on sub-Saharan Africa – GDP World Bank Group The Economic Impact of Ebola on Sub-Saharan Africa: Updated Estimates for 2015: April 2015
January 2015
What Ebola exposed about health systems in West Africa ODI HPN Magazine Infographic: October 2015
Ebola: New World Bank Group report shows growth shrinking, economic impact worsening in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone World Bank Group Update on the Economic Impact of the 2014 Ebola Epidemic on Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea: December 2, 2014
Impact of West Africa Ebola Outbreak on Food Security and Staple Food Prices: SMS and IVR Food Security Monitoring World Food Programme Bulletins and Data Summary Sheets: August 2014-Present
FAO/WFP crop and food security assessment – Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea Food and Agricultural Organisation & World Food Programme Special Report Synthesis 5 January 2015 Jan 2015
Most official movement restrictions lifted, trade flows and market functioning slowly improve FEWS NET; GeoPoll West Africa Special Report, January 2015 Jan 2015
Policy notes on the economic impact of Ebola virus in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone UNDP Socio-economic impact of the Ebola Virus Disease in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, Policy Notes Volume 1, Number 1-5 and Volume 2, Number 1 Oct 31, 2014
Population distributions and mobility patterns – West African Region WorldPop Mobile phone flow maps; Human mobility models; Population age structures, births and pregnancies; Locations of major settlements; Population distributions in 2014 Mobility patterns and population densities, 2014;
Mobility Data;
Spatial Data;
Visualisations of market prices based on WFP vulnerability analysis and mapping (VAM) data World Food Programme; Simon B Johnson, British Red Cross Food Prices Visualizations based on WFP VAM Market Prices: Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Sierra Leone Food Prices Datasets for the Ebola-affected countries, Oct 2014
Ebola: Beyond the health emergency Plan International Qualitative research report (February 2015) with questionnaire in Appendices;
Young lives on Lockdown (December 2014)
Ebola to worsen food security conditions in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea The European Commission’s Joint Research Centre Impact of the West African Ebola Virus Disease Outbreak on Food Security – Analysis Multiple; Dec 2014
Datasets Organisation(s) Topics Countries
Humanitarian Data Exchange – West Africa: Ebola Outbreak UN OCHA; Multiple Various Background Datasets, GIS West African Region
Ebola GeoNode UN; Multiple Geospatial Data, Maps West African Region
Ebola Open Data Jam – October 8, 2014 & February 21, 2015. Multiple; DKAN Health Facilities, Case Counts, GIS, links Guinea,
Sierra Leone
Resources Organisation(s) Topics Countries
Ebola Needs Analysis Project (ENAP) – Weekly & Monthly Overviews, Thematic Reports  ACAPS Collated Assessment Reports By Topic Guinea,
Sierra Leone
Articles Organisation(s) Journal Countries
Indirect costs associated with deaths from the Ebola virus disease in West Africa Infectious Diseases Guinea,
Sierra Leone
Acceptability and willingness-to-pay for a hypothetical Ebola virus vaccine in Nigeria PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases Nigeria
Social pathways for Ebola Virus Disease in rural Sierra Leone, and some implications for containment PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases Sierra Leone
The cost of an Ebola case Pathogens and Global Health Guinea,
Sierra Leone

If you know of research and/or datasets relating to the economic impacts of Ebola that are not presented on this page, please let us know using the contact information at the top of the page.


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