Pichler, Anton and J. Doyne Farmer
Natural and anthropogenic disasters frequently affect both the supply and demand sides of an economy. A striking recent example is the Covid-19 pandemic which has created severe disruptions to economic output in most countries. These direct shocks to supply and demand will propagate downstream and upstream through production networks. Given the exogenous shocks, we derive a lower bound on total shock propagation. We find that even in this best case scenario network effects substantially amplify the initial shocks. To obtain more realistic model predictions, we study the propagation of shocks bottom-up by imposing different rationing rules on industries if they are not able to satisfy incoming demand. Our results show that economic impacts depend strongly on the emergence of input bottlenecks, making the rationing assumption a key variable in predicting adverse economic impacts. We further establish that the magnitude of initial shocks and network density heavily influence model predictions.