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Deliana Kostova, Walter Ochieng, Rajeev Cherukupalli and John T Redd
''U.S. trade indicators and epidemics: Lessons from the 2003 SARS outbreak''
( 2020, Vol. 40 No.4 )
We revisited the 2003 outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-2003) and its role in two U.S. indicators – U.S. merchandise exports to countries in the East Asia Pacific (EAP) region and domestic U.S. jobs supported by these exports. We employed a quasi-experimental approach where SARS-2003 average treatment effects were derived from comparing before-2003 and after-2003 differences in indicator trends for EAP countries that experienced the bulk of 2003 epidemic transmission (China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Singapore) and EAP countries that did not, controlling for observed and unobserved country heterogeneity that might concurrently determine trends in trade. The SARS-2003 outbreak was associated with a USD 29 billion relative reduction in U.S. merchandise exports to the group of high-burden SARS countries, with a corresponding relative loss of 61,200 U.S. jobs. These effects were largely explained by a slowdown in exports from the U.S. manufacturing sector (USD 24.9 billion). No significant post-2003 effects were estimated for either exports or jobs, indicating a relatively quick rebound.
Keywords: exports; epidemics; global health security; SARS
JEL: I1 - Health: General
Manuscript Received : Sep 22 2020 Manuscript Accepted : Oct 12 2020

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