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Divided We Fall: International Health and Trade Coordination During a Pandemic

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  • Viral V. Acharya
  • Zhengyang Jiang
  • Robert J. Richmond
  • Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden

Abstract

We analyze the role of international trade and health coordination in times of a pandemic by building a two-economy, two-good trade model integrated into a micro-founded SIR model of infection dynamics. Uncoordinated governments with national mandates can adopt (i) containment policies to suppress infection spread domestically, and (ii) (import) tariffs to prevent infection coming from abroad. The efficient, i.e., coordinated, risk-sharing arrangement dynamically adjusts both policy instruments to share infection and economic risks internationally. However, in Nash equilibrium, uncoordinated trade policies robustly feature inefficiently high tariffs that peak with the pandemic in the foreign economy. This distorts terms of trade dynamics and magnifies the welfare costs of tariff wars during a pandemic due to lower levels of consumption and production as well as smaller gains via diversification of infection curves across economies.

Suggested Citation

  • Viral V. Acharya & Zhengyang Jiang & Robert J. Richmond & Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, 2020. "Divided We Fall: International Health and Trade Coordination During a Pandemic," NBER Working Papers 28176, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:28176
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    7. Ernst-Ludwig von Thadden, 2020. "A Simple, Non-Recursive Model of the Spread of COVID-19 With Applications to Policy," CRC TR 224 Discussion Paper Series crctr224_2020_171, University of Bonn and University of Mannheim, Germany.
    8. Callum Jones & Thomas Philippon & Venky Venkateswaran, 2021. "Optimal Mitigation Policies in a Pandemic: Social Distancing and Working from Home [A simple planning problem for covid-19 lockdown]," The Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 34(11), pages 5188-5223.
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    12. Fernando Leibovici & Ana Maria Santacreu, 2020. "Shortages of Critical Goods in a Global Economy: Optimal Trade and Industrial Policy," Working Papers 2020-010, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, revised Dec 2023.
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    14. Abel Brodeur & David Gray & Anik Islam & Suraiya Bhuiyan, 2021. "A literature review of the economics of COVID‐19," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(4), pages 1007-1044, September.
    15. Titan Alon & Minki Kim & David Lagakos & Mitchell VanVuren, 2020. "How Should Policy Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic Differ in the Developing World?," NBER Working Papers 27273, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Preparation > Crisis management

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    Cited by:

    1. Krause, Willi & Costa, Luís & Costa Filho, João Ricardo, 2023. "The Covid-19 Recession in Germany: A Macropidemiological Analysis," Working Papers REM 2023/0290, ISEG - Lisbon School of Economics and Management, REM, Universidade de Lisboa.
    2. Hakenes, Hendrik, 2021. "Face Masks, Yeast, and Toilet Paper: Panic Purchases and Stockpiling," VfS Annual Conference 2021 (Virtual Conference): Climate Economics 242360, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    3. Billio, Monica & Lo, Andrew W. & Pelizzon, Loriana & Getmansky, Mila & Zareei, Abalfazl, 2021. "Global realignment in financial market dynamics: Evidence from ETF networks," SAFE Working Paper Series 304, Leibniz Institute for Financial Research SAFE.
    4. Jacek Rothert, 2021. "Optimal federal transfers during uncoordinated response to a pandemic," GRAPE Working Papers 58, GRAPE Group for Research in Applied Economics.
    5. Dragomirescu-Gaina, Catalin, 2021. "Facing an unfortunate trade-off: policy responses, lessons and spill-overs during the COVID-19 pandemic," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 43(C).
    6. Liang, Yousha & Shi, Kang & Tang, Junjie & Xu, Juanyi, 2022. "Pandemic and containment policies in open economy," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 125(C).
    7. Kai A. Konrad & Marcel Thum, 2021. "International Policy Externalities in the Pandemic," ifo Dresden berichtet, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, vol. 28(06), pages 07-11, December.
    8. INOUE Hiroyasu & MURASE Yohsuke & TODO Yasuyuki, 2022. "Lockdowns Require Geographic Coordination because of the Propagation of Economic Effects through Supply Chains," Discussion papers 22076, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance
    • H87 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - International Fiscal Issues; International Public Goods
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health

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