IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The Short-Term Impact of SARS on the Chinese Economy


  • Wen Hai

    (China Center for Economic Research Peking University 5 Yiheyuan Road Beijing 100871 China)

  • Zhong Zhao

    (China Center for Economic Research Peking University 5 Yiheyuan Road Beijing 100871 China)

  • Jian Wang

    (China Center for Economic Research Peking University 5 Yiheyuan Road Beijing 100871 China)

  • Zhen-Gang Hou

    (China Center for Economic Research 5 Yiheyuan Road Peking University Beijing 100871 China)


During the peak of the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), we conducted a survey in Beijing on 18 April 2003 to determine the economic impact of SARS, in particular its effects on several service sectors in China. The survey indicated that SARS had significant negative impacts on China's economy. The tourism sector was hit the hardest. We estimated that by the end of 2003, China's tourism revenue from foreigners would decrease by about 50-60 percent (amounting to about US$10.8 billion) compared with the tourism revenue in 2002 and revenue from domestic tourists would decrease by around 10 percent (amounting to about US$6.0 billion). Thus, we predicted that the total loss to China's tourism industry would be around US$16.8 billion by the end of 2003. We also concluded that SARS would cause, through a multiplier effect, a total loss of US$25.3 billion to China's economy and that the growth rate of China's GDP in 2003 would be 1-2 percentage points lower than it would have been if the SARS outbreak had not occurred. Copyright (c) 2004 Center for International Development and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • Wen Hai & Zhong Zhao & Jian Wang & Zhen-Gang Hou, 2004. "The Short-Term Impact of SARS on the Chinese Economy," Asian Economic Papers, MIT Press, vol. 3(1), pages 57-61.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:asiaec:v:3:y:2004:i:1:p:57-61

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. George Verikios & Maura Sullivan & Pane Stojanovski & James Giesecke & Gordon Woo, 2016. "Assessing Regional Risks From Pandemic Influenza: A Scenario Analysis," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(8), pages 1225-1255, August.
    2. Ding Ding & Chong Guan & Calvin M. L. Chan & Wenting Liu, 2020. "Building stock market resilience through digital transformation: using Google trends to analyze the impact of COVID-19 pandemic," Frontiers of Business Research in China, Springer, vol. 14(1), pages 1-21, December.
    3. Pham, Tien Duc & Dwyer, Larry & Su, Jen-Je & Ngo, Tramy, 2021. "COVID-19 impacts of inbound tourism on Australian economy," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 88(C).
    4. Verikios, George, 2020. "The dynamic effects of infectious disease outbreaks: the case of pandemic influenza and human coronavirus," MPRA Paper 104434, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Peter A.G. van Bergeijk, 2021. "Pandemic Economics," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 20401.
    6. Gian Maria Campedelli & Alberto Aziani & Serena Favarin, 2020. "Exploring the Effects of COVID-19 Containment Policies on Crime: An Empirical Analysis of the Short-term Aftermath in Los Angeles," Papers 2003.11021,, revised Oct 2020.
    7. Li, Tao & Rong, Lili & Zhang, Anming, 2021. "Assessing regional risk of COVID-19 infection from Wuhan via high-speed rail," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 226-238.
    8. Fotiadis, Anestis & Polyzos, Stathis & Huan, Tzung-Cheng T.C., 2021. "The good, the bad and the ugly on COVID-19 tourism recovery," Annals of Tourism Research, Elsevier, vol. 87(C).
    9. George Verikios, 2017. "The importance of periodicity in modelling infectious disease outbreaks," Discussion Papers in Economics economics:201711, Griffith University, Department of Accounting, Finance and Economics.
    10. Shehzad, Khurram & Xiaoxing, Liu & Kazouz, Hayfa, 2020. "COVID-19’s disasters are perilous than Global Financial Crisis: A rumor or fact?," Finance Research Letters, Elsevier, vol. 36(C).
    11. Hai Long & Jianzhi Zhao, 2021. "The Impact of SARS Epidemic and Financial Crisis on China’s Economy Structure Referenced to the Potential Impact of COVID-19," Bulletin of Applied Economics, Risk Market Journals, vol. 8(1), pages 97-108.
    12. Song, Haiyan & Gartner, William C. & Tasci, Asli D.A., 2012. "Visa restrictions and their adverse economic and marketing implications – Evidence from China," Tourism Management, Elsevier, vol. 33(2), pages 397-412.
    13. Duan, Hongbo & Bao, Qin & Tian, Kailan & Wang, Shouyang & Yang, Cuihong & Cai, Zongwu, 2021. "The hit of the novel coronavirus outbreak to China's economy," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    14. Martin Motl, 2020. "Impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on the world economy," Occasional Publications - Chapters in Edited Volumes, in: CNB Global Economic Outlook - April 2020, pages 12-24, Czech National Bank.
    15. Fang, Guanfu & Feng, Jin, 2021. "Is the 2003 SARS epidemic over? Long-term effects of epidemic exposure on mortality among older adults," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 67(C).
    16. Christian Grimme & Robert Lehmann & Radek Šauer & Timo Wollmershäuser, 2020. "Abschätzung möglicher konjunktureller Folgen der Coronavirus-Epidemie," ifo Schnelldienst, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 73(03), pages 53-54, March.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:tpr:asiaec:v:3:y:2004:i:1:p:57-61. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no bibliographic references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Ann Olson (email available below). General contact details of provider: .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.