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Facilitating Trade in Pharmaceuticals: A Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic


  • Ben Shepherd


This paper reviews trade in pharmaceutical products, focusing on ASEAN countries. Trade in this sector is of singular policy importance as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. First, the paper shows that pharmaceuticals are traded within Global Value Chains, which in turn means that international linkages are complex. Second, the paper shows that policy reforms can help boost trade in the sector, which has important human development implications during the pandemic period.

Suggested Citation

  • Ben Shepherd, 2021. "Facilitating Trade in Pharmaceuticals: A Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic," Working Papers DP-2021-05, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
  • Handle: RePEc:era:wpaper:dp-2021-05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Robert Koopman & Zhi Wang & Shang-Jin Wei, 2014. "Tracing Value-Added and Double Counting in Gross Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(2), pages 459-494, February.
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    3. Egger, Peter & Larch, Mario, 2008. "Interdependent preferential trade agreement memberships: An empirical analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 384-399, December.
    4. Archanun Kohpaiboon & Juthathip Jongwanich, 2021. "The Effect of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Global Production Sharing in East Asia," Working Papers DP-2021-03, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).
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    7. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
    8. Baier, Scott L. & Yotov, Yoto V. & Zylkin, Thomas, 2019. "On the widely differing effects of free trade agreements: Lessons from twenty years of trade integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 116(C), pages 206-226.
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    10. Mario Larch & Joschka Wanner & Yoto V. Yotov & Thomas Zylkin, 2019. "Currency Unions and Trade: A PPML Re‐assessment with High‐dimensional Fixed Effects," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 81(3), pages 487-510, June.
    11. Egger, Peter & Larch, Mario & Nigai, Sergey & Yotov, Yoto, 2021. "Trade costs in the global economy: Measurement, aggregation and decomposition," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2021-2, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    12. Sergio Correia & Paulo Guimarães & Tom Zylkin, 2020. "Fast Poisson estimation with high-dimensional fixed effects," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 20(1), pages 95-115, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Antonio Fanelli, 2021. "How ASEAN Can Improve Its Response to the Economic Crisis Generated by the COVID-19 Pandemic: Inputs drawn from a comparative analysis of the ASEAN and EU responses," Working Papers DP-2021-08, Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA).

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    More about this item


    COVID-19; global value chains; public health; gravity model;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy

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