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The Impact of SARS on Asian Economies


  • Donald Hanna

    (Asia Pacific Economic and Market Analysis Citigroup Global Markets Asia Limited 20th Floor, 3 Exchange Square Central, Hong Kong, SAR, China)

  • Yiping Huang

    (Asia Pacific Economic and Market Analysis Citigroup Global Markets Asia Limited 20th Floor, 3 Exchange Square Central, Hong Kong, SAR, China)


This paper describes the economic implications of the SARS outbreak that hit many Asian economies in spring 2003. Without a workable diagnostic test and a treatment for the illness, surveillance and quarantine were the key weapons against SARS last year. In general, risks are greater in countries with poor public health care, poor sanitation systems, high mobility, or high population density. During the height of the SARS outbreak, we estimated that the total costs of the epidemic would be about 1.5 percent of GDP for China. Better-than-expected containment of the virus reduced the impact to only about 0.5 percent of GDP. The experiences of the SARS outbreak point to the strong need to improve both the public health system and the governance structure in Asia. Copyright (c) 2004 Center for International Development and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Donald Hanna & Yiping Huang, 2004. "The Impact of SARS on Asian Economies," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 102-112.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:asiaec:v:3:y:2004:i:1:p:102-112

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    Cited by:

    1. Donadelli, Michael & Kizys, Renatas & Riedel, Max, 2016. "Globally dangerous diseases: Bad news for Main Street, good news for Wall Street?," SAFE Working Paper Series 158, Research Center SAFE - Sustainable Architecture for Finance in Europe, Goethe University Frankfurt.
    2. repec:eee:finmar:v:35:y:2017:i:c:p:84-103 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Wing Thye Woo, 2006. "The Structural Nature of Internal and External Imbalances in China," Journal of Chinese Economic and Business Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(1), pages 1-19.

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