1st Edition

The Political Economy of the SARS Epidemic The Impact on Human Resources in East Asia

By Grace Lee, Malcolm Warner Copyright 2008
    192 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    190 Pages 28 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book discusses the political economy of the SARS epidemic and its impact on human resources in East Asia, as it occurred in 2003. The epidemic spread from the People’s Republic of China, to Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, amongst other countries in East Asia and as far away as North America, particularly Canada, the EU and elsewhere. The book looks first at earlier precedents, such as the Black Death and the way in which the potential threats of the recent epidemic were diffused across the world in ‘instant news’ reports; examining why it was dubbed the first ‘global epidemic’ due to its media coverage and how far the threat started a psychological ‘tsunami’ of fear and panic. Next, it examines the anticipated economic consequences arising from this phenomenon and how it affected the business of everyday life, market behaviour and human resources in the Chinese and Overseas Chinese economies. It focuses in particular detail on the cases of the PRC, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan. It concludes with a discussion of the issues involved and lessons to be learnt, and draws conclusions both for theory and practice vis-à-vis future pandemics that may threaten the global economy in the coming decade and the public policy issues involved

    Part 1: Background  1. Introduction  2. Catastrophes, Epidemics and History  3. The SARS Epidemic of 2003: A Time-Line  4. Impact on Economies, on Labour Markets and HRM in East Asia  Part 2: Impact on East Asia  5. Hong Kong: A Case-Study  6. People's Republic of China (PRC): A Case-Study  7. Singapore: A Case-Study  8. Taiwan: A Case-Study  Part 3: Broader Implications for Human Resources  9. Lessons to be Learnt?  10. Conclusions 


    Grace O. M. Lee is Associate Professor of Public and Social Administration at the City University of Hong Kong. Her research interests focus on labour markets, employment policy and public management.

    Malcolm Warner is Professor and Fellow Emeritus, Wolfson College and Judge Business School, University of Cambridge. His current research interests include Asian management, human resource management and international business.

    '...readers will learn much from this book's insights and lessons drawn from this health crisis. The Political Economy of the SARS Epidemic will prove useful to students of human resource management and those seeking to comprehend the economic impacts of SARS on East Asia.' -  Sonny Lo, Journal of Contemporary Asia, Vol.40 No.2, 2010