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Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: COVID-19 and Supply Chain Disruptions

  • Economics Discussion Papers
  • May 4, 2020
  • Kanika Mahajan,
  • Kanika Mahajan, Shekhar Tomar

This paper looks at the disruption in food supply chains due to COVID-19 induced economic shutdown in India. We use a novel dataset from one of the largest online grocery retailers to look at the impact on product availability and prices in three major cities. We find that product availability falls by 10 percent for vegetables, fruits, and edible oils, while there is a minimal impact on their prices. We show that supply chain disruption is the main driver behind the observed fall in availability. We combine online retail data with distance to production zones and find that the fall in availability is larger for products that are cultivated or manufactured farther from the retail centers. These findings have direct policy implications for supply chain management during pandemics.

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