How did Trade in GVC-based Products Respond to Previous Health Shocks? Lessons for COVID-19
59 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2020
Date Written: October 2020
Using difference-in-difference analysis, we examine how trade in GVC-based products may have responded to two previous health shocks - SARS and MERS. Our identification strategy exploits differences in the time period of severe incidence of each disease and in the coverage of trading partners that were more adversely affected than others. While we find no evidence for “reshoring” in response to each of these virus outbreaks, there is some evidence for “near-shoring” in the stylized facts on SARS. Empirical analysis also suggests geographical diversification of value chains - import shares from China and UAE declined during each outbreak, while MERS was accompanied by a fall in import concentration; these effects persisted over time for SARS suggesting that the associated value-chains were not resilient to these health shocks. The findings are observed at both the intensive (import value) and extensive (number of HS-6 products and export destinations) margins. The SARS effects are driven by lower-middle-income importers that were more integrated in GVCs, received more investment, were more competitive and were more reliant on the severely affected partners. We expect similar disruptions to GVC-trade from COVID-19, especially diversification away from China.
Keywords: GVC-trade; health shocks; COVID-19; reshoring; near-shoring; GVC-disruptions.
JEL Classification: F1
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation