How do firms respond to COVID-19? First evidence from Suzhou, China

Xin Gu*, Shan Ying, Weiqiang Zhang, Yewei Tao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

148 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, daily electricity usage data for 34,040 enterprises in Suzhou (China) were examined for economic activity associated with the response to COVID-19. Employing a difference-in-differences estimation model, we find that the manufacturing industry incurred the greatest negative effect while industries such as construction, information transfer, computer services and software, and health care and social work were positively impacted by COVID-19. Private firms suffered more than state-owned enterprises and foreign-owned firms, and smaller firms experienced an additional 30% decline compared to large-sized firms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2181-2197
Number of pages17
JournalEmerging Markets Finance and Trade
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 8 Aug 2020


  • COVID-19
  • electricity consumption
  • firm performance


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