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Mask wars: China's exports of medical goods in times of COVID-19

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Listed:
  • Fuchs, Andreas
  • Kaplan, Lennart
  • Kis-Katos, Krisztina
  • Schmidt, Sebastian S.
  • Turbanisch, Felix
  • Wang, Feicheng

Abstract

The COVID-19 outbreak has cut China's supply of and raised the world's demand for face masks, disinfectants, ventilators, and other critical medical goods. This article studies the economic and political factors that are associated with China's exports of medical equipment during the first two months of the global pandemic. Regression results show that - controlled for demand factors - countries with stronger past economic ties with China import more critical medical goods from China at both the national level and the level of Chinese provinces. Friendly political relations, such as the twinning of provinces, appear to work as a substitute for pre-existing economic ties at the provincial level. These findings imply that, to secure access to medical equipment in crises, countries are well advised to either diversify their sources or to develop closer relations with Beijing and China's provinces.

Suggested Citation

  • Fuchs, Andreas & Kaplan, Lennart & Kis-Katos, Krisztina & Schmidt, Sebastian S. & Turbanisch, Felix & Wang, Feicheng, 2020. "Mask wars: China's exports of medical goods in times of COVID-19," Kiel Working Papers 2161, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifwkwp:2161
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Kazunobu Hayakawa & Hiroshi Mukunoki, 2021. "Impacts of COVID‐19 on Global Value Chains," The Developing Economies, Institute of Developing Economies, vol. 59(2), pages 154-177, June.
    2. Irena Jindřichovská & Erginbay Uğurlu, 2021. "E.U. and China Trends in Trade in Challenging Times," Journal of Risk and Financial Management, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 14(2), pages 1-19, February.
    3. Hayakawa, Kazunobu & Mukunoki, Hiroshi, 2021. "The impact of COVID-19 on international trade: Evidence from the first shock," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    COVID-19; crisis management; medical equipment; face masks; strategic exports; disaster aid;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F59 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Other
    • H12 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Crisis Management
    • H77 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - Intergovernmental Relations; Federalism
    • H84 - Public Economics - - Miscellaneous Issues - - - Disaster Aid
    • P33 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - International Trade, Finance, Investment, Relations, and Aid

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