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How Is America’s Food System Responding to the COVID-19 Pandemic?

AAEA members answer food market and economic questions in a livestream event

As the Coronavirus and COVID-19 spread quickly, so is the panic in our own grocery stores. So is the United States Food Supply Chain enough to manage the nationwide anxiety?

AAEA members Trey Malone and Alek Schaefer from Michigan State University are hosting a public livestreaming event Friday, March 27 at 3 pm - 4 pm  to answer questions live about economic uncertainty in the food supply chain during the threat of the novel coronavirus.

Malone says he is confident that as long as there is a demand for food, the U.S. supply chain will be more than capable of providing for its consumers.

“At least from my perspective in the current moment, markets are responding to uncertainty more than they are actual cases, and people are updating their prior beliefs as time moves on…An explosion in the number of sicknesses would clearly pose a problem, but one of the truths of economics is that – so long as markets are allowed to work – there will be some supply for what people demand.  Look no further than the way 3M will produce more than a billion masks by the end of 2020!” Malone says.

He continues, “I know this seems crazy, but price increases mean that the market is working… I would be more concerned if I didn’t see price responses as that would imply that we aren’t operating in a market system anymore.  The flip side to that is that businesses who think long-run shouldn’t be gouging their customers in their time of need, and there is a fine line between market responses and price gouging in a world where people are scared.  I need to be abundantly clear that we are all a part of the same team right now, and bad behavior truly has the potential to put the most vulnerable among us in the most severe risk.

If you are interested in attending the livestream Zoom event, visit:

March 27, 2020
3:00PM - 4:00PM EST

ABOUT AAEA: Established in 1910, the Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) is the leading professional association for agricultural and applied economists, with 2,500 members in more than 60 countries. Members of the AAEA work in academic or government institutions as well as in industry and not-for-profit organizations, and engage in a variety of research, teaching, and outreach activities in the areas of agriculture, the environment, food, health, and international development. The AAEA publishes two journals, the American Journal of Agricultural Economics and Applied Economic Perspectives & Policy, as well as the online magazine Choices and the online open access publication series Applied Economics Teaching Resources. To learn more, visit

Contact: Allison Scheetz
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