Why COVID-19 Probably Killed More People Than We Realize




As the number of casualties from COVID-19 ballooned at an alarming rate last year, some feared that government officials were failing to report several coronavirus-related losses and the actual death toll was much higher worldwide.

While the official count shows more than 5 million people have died of the disease, a new study of underreported casualties in several countries indicates that COVID has actually killed hundreds of thousands more people than government records document.


The HBS researchers gathered the reported monthly numbers of deaths during the pandemic in each of the 51 countries from a variety of sources, including reports in the New York Times and the European Commission’s database, Eurostat. They compared that data to figures from the same months for the past three to five years to calculate excess deaths. Subtracting the number of official COVID deaths for each country helped them gauge potential underreporting.


In fact, countries with more stringent policies in place did, on average, have 59 percent higher unexplained excess deaths—that is, 159 deaths for every 100 reported for COVID.

Author(s): Ethan Rouen, George Serafeim

Publication Date: 2 Nov 2021

Publication Site: Working Knowledge at Harvard Business School

To Fight Climate Change, Should Green Investors Reconsider Big Oil?

Link: https://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/to-fight-climate-change-should-green-investors-reconsider-big-oil


Should eco-conscious investors support a company that’s developing innovative solutions to climate change—even if that company is also a major polluter?

The market’s answer to this question has been a resounding “no,” as evidenced by the investment policies that exclude traditional oil producers from most so-called sustainable funds. But this stance eliminates some of the most prolific and influential producers of green innovation, including Exxon Mobil, BP, and Chevron, according to recent research by Harvard Business School Professor Lauren Cohen.

Faced with mounting concerns about climate change, oil companies are diversifying their businesses, putting money toward renewable energy sources and green technology. While sustainable funds shun fossil fuel producers, which contribute half of the world’s greenhouse gases, Cohen’s study suggests that these companies could also play a key role in stemming the damage.

Author(s): Kristen Senz

Publication Date: 16 February 2021

Publication Site: Harvard Business School Working Knowledge