Mask Wars: China's Exports of Medical Goods in Times of COVID-19

41 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2020

See all articles by Andreas Fuchs

Andreas Fuchs

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration; Kiel Institute for the World Economy

Lennart C. Kaplan

University of Goettingen (Göttingen)

Krisztina Kis-Katos

University of Goettingen (Göttingen)

Sebastian Schmidt

University of Goettingen (Göttingen)

Felix Turbanisch

University of Goettingen (Göttingen)

Feicheng Wang

University of Goettingen (Göttingen)

Date Written: July 30, 2020

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.

Keywords: COVID-19, crisis management, medical equipment, face masks, strategic exports, disaster aid

JEL Classification: F14, F59, H12, H77, H84, P33

Suggested Citation

Fuchs, Andreas and Kaplan, Lennart C. and Kis-Katos, Krisztina and Schmidt, Sebastian and Turbanisch, Felix and Wang, Feicheng, Mask Wars: China's Exports of Medical Goods in Times of COVID-19 (July 30, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3661798 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3661798

Andreas Fuchs (Contact Author)

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) - Faculty of Economics and Business Administration ( email )

Platz der Goettinger Sieben 3
Goettingen, 37073
Germany

Kiel Institute for the World Economy ( email )

Kiellinie 66
Kiel, Schleswig-Hosltein 24105
Germany

Lennart C. Kaplan

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073
Germany

Krisztina Kis-Katos

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Sebastian Schmidt

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Felix Turbanisch

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Platz der Gottinger Sieben 3
Gottingen, D-37073
Germany

Feicheng Wang

University of Goettingen (Göttingen) ( email )

Platz der Göttinger Sieben 3
Göttingen, 37073
Germany

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