Alberto Cavallo Discusses a Systematic Accounting of the Prevalence of Stockouts
Product shortages have been a pervasive feature of the COVID-19 pandemic. Groceries and personal protective equipment were in short supply in the first few weeks, and while those bottlenecks have eased, many consumer durables and other products have been difficult to find in subsequent months. In a new study (29209) that uses data collected from a large sample of online retailers in seven countries, NBER affilate Alberto Cavallo of the Harvard Business School and Oleksiy Kryvtsov of the Bank of Canada provide a systematic accounting of the prevalence of stockouts. They distinguish temporary stockouts from the discontinuation of products, and they also explore the impact of product shortages on prices. Cavallo summarizes their findings in the video above. An archive of NBER videos on pandemic-related research may be found here.