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Impact of COVID-19 on China's macroeconomy and agri-food system – an economy-wide multiplier model analysis

Yumei Zhang, Xinshen Diao, Kevin Z. Chen, Sherman Robinson and Shenggen Fan ()

China Agricultural Economic Review, 2020, vol. 12, issue 3, 387-407

Abstract: Purpose - The purpose of this study is to assess the potential economic cost of the COVID-19 pandemic on China's macroeconomy and agri-food system and provide policy recommendations to stimulate economic growth and agri-food system development. Design/methodology/approach - An economy-wide multisector multiplier model built on China's most recent social accounting matrix (SAM) for 2017 with 149 economic sectors is used to assess the impact of COVID-19 on China's macroeconomy and agri-food system. SAM multiplier analysis focuses on supply chain linkages and captures the complexity of an interconnected economy. Findings - The paper finds that both the macroeconomy and agri-food systems are hit significantly by COVID-19. There are three main findings. First, affected by COVID-19, GDP decreased by 6.8% in the first quarter of 2020 compared with that in 2019, while the economic loss of the agri-food system is equivalent to 7% of its value added (about RMB 0.26 trillion). More than 46 Practical implications - The results show that continuously reducing economic dependency on exports and stimulating domestic demand are key areas that require policy support. The agri-food system can play an important role in supporting broad economic growth and job creation as SMEs are major part of the AFS. Job creation requires policies to promote innovation by entrepreneurs who run numerous SMEs in China. Originality/value - This paper represents the first systematic study assessing the impact of COVID-19 on China's agri-food system in terms of value added and employment. The assessment considers three phases of lockdown, recovery and normal phases in order to capture the full potential cost of COVID-19.

Keywords: COVID-19; Macroeconomy; Agri-food system; SAM multiplier (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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