Which food prices were more vulnerable to the COVID-19 blockade regulations in China? Comparison between perishable and storable vegetables

Yupeng Wang, Satoru Shimokawa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: This paper aims to investigate how differently the COVID-19 blockade regulations influence the prices of perishable and storable foods. The authors focus on the cases of the 2020 blockade at Hubei province and the 2021 blockade at Shijiazhuang city in China, and the authors examine how the blockade influenced the prices of Chinese cabbages (perishable) and potatoes (storable) within and around the blockade area. Design/methodology/approach: The paper employs the fixed effects model, the panel VAR (PVAR) model, and the spatial dynamic panel (SPD) model to estimate the impacts of the blockade on the food prices. It constructs the unique data set of 3-day average prices of Chinese cabbages and potatoes at main wholesale markets in China during the two urban blockade periods from January 1 to April 8 in 2020 and from January 1 to March 1 in 2021. Findings: The results from the SPD models indicate that the price of Chinese cabbages was more vulnerable and increased by 7.1–9.8% due to the two blockades while the price of potatoes increased by 1.2–6.1%. The blockades also significantly influenced the prices in the areas adjacent to the blockade area. The SPD results demonstrate that the impacts of the blockades would be overestimated if the spatial dependence is not controlled for in the fixed effects model and the PVAR model. Research limitations/implications: Because the research focuses on the cases in China, the results may lack generalizability. Further research for other countries is encouraged. Originality/value: This paper demonstrates the importance of considering food types and spatial dependence in examining the impact of the COVID-19 blockades on food prices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)463-476
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Agribusiness in Developing and Emerging Economies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2022 May 6


  • Blockade regulation
  • COVID-19
  • Food price
  • Spatial dependence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics


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