How Did the 2003 SARS Epidemic Shape Chinese Trade?

23 Pages Posted: 21 May 2020 Last revised: 26 May 2020

See all articles by Ana Fernandes

Ana Fernandes

University of Exeter

Heiwai Tang

Johns Hopkins University - Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS); The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Business and Economics; CESIfo; Kiel Institute for the World Economy

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Date Written: May 15, 2020

Abstract

This paper examines the impact of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) epidemic on China's trade. Using quarterly transaction-level trade data of all Chinese firms, we find that firms in regions with local transmission of SARS experienced lower import and export growth at both the intensive and extensive margins, compared to those in the unaffected regions. The affected firms' trade growth remained lower two years after SARS. Products that are more capital-intensive, skill-intensive, upstream in the supply chains, and differentiated experienced a smaller export decline but a stronger recovery. Small exporters were more likely to exit, slowing down trade recovery.

Keywords: Covid-19, SARS, trade collapse, post-pandemic recovery, natural disasters, disruption, global supply chains

JEL Classification: F12, F14

Suggested Citation

Fernandes, Ana and Tang, Heiwai, How Did the 2003 SARS Epidemic Shape Chinese Trade? (May 15, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3603699 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3603699

Ana Fernandes

University of Exeter ( email )

Northcote House
The Queen's Drive
Exeter, Devon EX4 4QJ
United Kingdom

Heiwai Tang (Contact Author)

Johns Hopkins University - Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) ( email )

1740 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20036-1984
United States

The University of Hong Kong - Faculty of Business and Economics ( email )

Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong
China

CESIfo ( email )

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Kiel Institute for the World Economy ( email )

P.O. Box 4309
Kiel, Schleswig-Hosltein D-24100
Germany

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