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Globalization and Disease: The Case of SARS

  • Jong-Wha Lee

    (Korea University Economics Department Seoul 136-701 South Korea and The Australian National University)

  • Warwick J. McKibbin

    (The Australian National University Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis Research School of Pacific & Asian Studies Australian National University ACT 0200, Canberra Australia and The Lowy Institute for International Policy)

The purpose of this paper is to provide an assessment of the global economic impacts of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) as well as to provide a more comprehensive approach to estimating the global consequences of major disease outbreaks. Our empirical estimates of the economic effects of the SARS epidemic are based on a global model called the G-Cubed (Asia Pacific) model. Most previous studies on the economic effects of epidemics focus on the disease-associated medical costs or forgone incomes resulting from disease-related morbidity and mortality, but the most significant real costs of SARS have been generated by changes in spending behavior by households and firms in affected countries. This study estimates the cost of the SARS outbreak by focusing on the impacts on consumption and investment behavior through changes in the cost and risk of doing business. Through increased economic interdependence, these changes in behavior have wide-ranging general equilibrium consequences for the world economy that can lead to economic losses well in excess of the traditional estimates of the cost of disease. Copyright (c) 2004 Center for International Development and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Article provided by MIT Press in its journal Asian Economic Papers.

Volume (Year): 3 (2004)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 113-131

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:asiaec:v:3:y:2004:i:1:p:113-131
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  1. David E. Bloom & David Canning & Jaypee Sevilla, 2001. "The Effect of Health on Economic Growth: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 8587, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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