Business travel and international trade during the COVID-19 pandemic

Fall 2021 COVID Fund Recipient

Kerem Cosar and James Harrigan (Economics)

Business travel is an essential component of international trade. It enables firms to find new suppliers, test products, monitor their business partners, and negotiate transactions. Restrictions on international travel throughout the course of the pandemic have severely limited such face-to-face interactions. The project aims to estimate the impact of pandemic-induced drop in international mobility on trade using data on monthly trade flows and travel restrictions between country pairs. The results will be informative about an important mechanism through which the pandemic has affected the economy, as well as the importance of face-to-face communication in business in general.