In addition to describing the history of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in Taiwan, the government's measures to contain the outbreak, and the actual economic impacts of SARS on Taiwan's economy, this paper presents the results of a multiregional computable general equilibrium model (Global Trade Analysis Project model version 6.2) that predicts the outbreak's consequences to 31 service and manufacturing sectors in Taiwan and to the GDP of 16 regions. The results of a short-term outbreak (less than 1 year), taking into account capital accumulation, are compared with those of a longer outbreak (more than 1 year). The losses to GDP are also predicted for the cases in which (1) China provides complete information on its SARS cases and (2) it fails to fully disclose the progress of the outbreak there to the international community. For a short-term outbreak, the simulation predicts losses to GDP of the service and manufacturing sectors of 0.67 percent in Taiwan, 0.20 percent in mainland China, and 1.56 percent in Hong Kong. If SARS is a long-run phenomenon, a lack of transparent disclosure about the progress of SARS on the part of the Chinese authorities could cause an additional 1.6 percent decline in China's GDP, according to the simulation.
This is a revised version of a paper presented at the Asian Economic Panel meeting on 11–12 May 2003 in Tokyo.