SPECIAL ISSUE ARTICLE

How trade affects pandemics? Evidence from SARS in 2003

Posted On: Jun 14, 2021   |   Posted By: The World Economy

Abstract
This paper investigates whether the rapid expansion of international trade after China's WTO entry in 2001 promotes the spread of severe acute respiratory syndromes in 2003. Examining the relationship is helpful to distinguish the hidden costs of trade openness. This paper uses Frankel and Romer (1999) framework to construct the geography based instruments by applying province‐country gravity relation for causal identification. Utilizing cross‐section data of SARS cases of 31 provinces in China, our two‐stage least squares regression results show that international trade accelerates the spread of SARS. Cross country evidence also suggests the causal relation. In addition, we find that the people's inter‐provincial mobility driven by trade expansion drives the spread of epidemic diseases.

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