The COVID-19 Pandemic: Insights from Agricultural Economists
Sunday, Jan. 3, 2021 12:15 PM - 2:15 PM (EST)
- Chair: Craig Gundersen, University of Illinois
Food Loss and Waste in the United States during COVID-19
AbstractThe physical and emotional stress of COVID-19 is devastating. However, the pandemic and the efforts to manage the disease have ravaged the economy. The food system has been a victim of this damage. At the household level, COVID-19 has altered our food patterns (food acquisition, cooking, and consumption) and, by extension, waste. Ellison et al. (2020) discuss how COVID-19 and the related economic fallout could affect consumers through changes in the way households stockpile and manage food. Negative income shocks and rising food prices may impact food waste. Between March and April 2020, we collected four waves of a survey to assess food waste and food acquisition behavior during COVID-19. With longitudinal data from over 1,350 individuals, we test the differential response of U.S. consumers to COVID-19 on waste and stockpiling behavior. We find initial evidence that food waste and concomitantly stockpiling may have increased during the pandemic.
How is Sub-Saharan Africa Confronting the Tradeoffs in COVID-19 Mitigation Policies?
AbstractDeveloping economies will be confronted with pandemics given current trends in globalization and changes in the environment. In this paper, we would conceptualize how to evaluate the economic tradeoffs between short- and long-term productivity losses inherent in alternative approaches for mitigating transmission of COVID-19. This framework is used to examine which policies are optimal for reducing economic losses given different demographic and labor market characteristics of the economy. We then demonstrate how closely current mitigation practices reflect what might be optimal for select countries in Africa.
Seasonal Farm Labor and Risk of Covid-19 Spread
AbstractWorker safety during the coronavirus pandemic is of primary concern, particularly in essential industries where working remotely is not possible. Despite employer precautions, there have been numerous worksite outbreaks of COVID-19. This paper examines the relationship between month-to-month changes in expected agricultural employment within counties and new COVID-19 cases. The results show a positive association between agricultural employment and new COVID-19 cases with employment in fruit production having the strongest relationship. I find that employment of 100 additional workers in fruit, vegetable, and horticultural (FVH) production within a county is associated with 21 new COVID-19 cases.
- A1 - General Economics