Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelors of Arts (BA)




Admasu Shiferaw

Committee Members

Abegaz Berhanu

Philip Roessler


The 2014 Western Africa Ebola Epidemic was one of the most severe epidemics in the region’s history, creating considerable health and economic burdens on the affected countries. The first part of this paper relies on several macroeconomic databases from 2009 to 2019 to evaluate the aggregate economic impact of Ebola both in the short- and medium-run. We also use household surveys to assess the microeconomic effects of Ebola on employment and household non-farm enterprises (HNFE) at different phases of the outbreak in Sierra Leone. Our primary estimation method is the Difference-in-Differences approach with the canonical specification where we compare outcome variables between Ebola affected and non-affected countries. To address the recently raised concerns about the Difference-in-Difference approach with multiple periods, we apply the nonparametric approach proposed by Callaway and Sant’Anna (2020) and calculate the summary measures proposed by de Chaisemartin & D'Haultfoeuille (2020) as robustness checks. We find a significantly negative effect of Ebola on Foreign Direct Investment inflows in the short-run and a persistently negative effect on iron exports during the sample periods but no noticeable impact on GDP and inflation rate. Ebola also decreased the probability of being employed at an early stage and continuously depresses the HNFE’s revenue toward the end of the epidemic. Our results suggest that the Ebola outbreak should be considered as a nationwide economic shock with limited long-run macro effect.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.