CoPS/IMPACT Working Paper Number G-315

Title: Coping with seasonality in a quarterly CGE model: COVID-19 and U.S. agriculture

Authors: Peter B. Dixon and Maureen T. Rimmer


Most dynamic CGE models work with periods of one year. This limits their applicability for analyzing the effects of shocks that operate over a short period or with different intensities through a year. It is relatively easy to convert an annual CGE model to shorter periodicity, for example a quarter, if we ignore seasonal differences in the pattern of economic activity. But this is not acceptable for agriculture. This paper introduces seasonal factors to the agricultural specification in a detailed quarterly CGE model of the U.S. The model is then applied to analyze the effects of the COVID pandemic on U.S. farm industries. Taking account of the general features of the pandemic such as the reduction in household spending, we find that these effects are mild relative to the effects on most other industries. However, agriculture is subject to potential supply-chain disruptions. We apply our quarterly model to analyze two such possibilities: loss of labour at harvest time in Fruit & nut farms; and temporary closure of meat-processing plants. We find that these disruptions are unlikely to cause noticeable reductions in the supply of food products to U.S. households.

JEL classification: C68; Q11; I19

Keywords: Quarterly CGE modelling; seasonal factors in agriculture; COVID pandemic; supply-chain disruption; U.S. agriculture

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