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The economic damages of the pandemic of COVID-19 due to measures adopted to control the spread of the virus continue to affect countries across the world and rise the need for scholars to provide adequate information to policymakers to guide the implementation of adequate responses. Meanwhile, the spatial heterogeneity of the spread of COVID-19 and the heterogeneity in countries’ resilience capacity support the relevance of country-level studies instead of cross-countries studies. This article aims to study the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on Benin's bilateral trade. Based on monthly data from January 2020 to March 2021, the Poisson pseudo maximum likelihood method was used to estimate a gravity model. Our results showed that the capacity of COVID-19 to harm Benin's bilateral trade is much greater when apprehended by the restrictive measures than by the lethality of the pandemic, suggesting that restrictions on interactions are more harmful to trade than the risks of mortality linked to the spread of the disease. However, our results revealed the non-persistence of these effects, which are gradually absorbed over time, reflecting a better ability of economies to adapt to the pandemic.
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