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The Impacts of Lockdown Policies on International Trade in the Philippines

January 13, 2022

Kuala Lumpur Research Seminar Series

  • The Philippines was among the most infected countries in East Asia at the onset of the COVID-19 outbreak. This study analyzes how international trade of the Philippines was affected by its own lockdown policies and those of trading partners on various margins. Using a monthly series of product-by-country data for the period from January 2019 to December 2020 and an event-study design, we show that domestic lockdown measures only affected imports while external lockdowns affected both exports and imports. The introduction of lockdown measures by trading partners led to a 7% and 57% monthly average drop in export and import values respectively. This was largely influenced by the fall in trade at the extensive margin (number of products). Intermediate goods were the key driver of the drop in imports following foreign lockdowns, reflecting supply disruptions in global value chains (GVCs). On the other hand, exports to top export destinations and exports of intermediate goods were more resilient.

    Overall, the lockdowns had a near symmetric effect on the Philippines' international trade, with a slightly higher effect on imports than exports. GVCs through extensive supply chain networks with diversified and geographically dispersed suppliers can help countries adjust better and contribute to speedy recovery and possible resilience to future shocks.

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  • Angella Faith Montfaucon, a Malawian national, is an economist in the 2019 cohort of Young Professionals program in the Macroeconomics, Trade and Investment global practice at the World Bank. Her work includes working on trade policy and fiscal policy. Prior to joining the World Bank, she worked at the Reserve Bank of Malawi as a Fiscal Analyst and working for two private sector banks. She also has University teaching experience. She has published on financial inclusion, international trade and finance and exchange rates. She received her Ph.D. in Economics in 2019 from Yokohama National University in Japan, and an MA in Economic Policy Management from University of Zambia.


  • WHEN (KUALA LUMPUR TIME): Thursday, January 13, 2022 - 9:00 -10:00am
  • WHEN (ET/WASHINGTON, D.C. TIME): Wednesday, January 12, 2022 - 8:00 – 9:00pm