Vizhdan Boranova, Raju Huidrom, Ezgi O. Ozturk, Ara Stepanyan, Petia Topalova, and Shihangyin (Frank) Zhang
The auto sector is macro-critical in many European countries and constitutes one of the main supply chains in the region. Using a multi-sector and multi-country general equilibrium model, this paper presents a quantitative assessment of the impact of global pandemic-induced labor supply shocks—both directly and via supply chains—during the initial phase of the COVID-19 pandemic on the auto sector and aggregate activity in Europe. Our results suggest that these labor supply shocks would have a significant adverse impact on the major auto producers in Europe, with one-third of the decline in the value added of the car sector attributable to spillovers via supply chains within and across borders. Within borders, the pandemic-induced labor supply shocks in the services sector have a bigger adverse impact, reflecting their larger size and associated demand effects. Across borders, spillovers from the pandemic-induced labor supply shocks that originate in other European countries are larger than those that originate outside the region, though the latter are still sizable.
This paper surveys the recent literature on the Japanese distribution system to consider two propositions: first, that the system is inefficient, and second that prices of imported products tend to be higher in Japan than in other markets. Most of the literature demonstrates that the system is efficient. However, the efficiency has not necessarily resulted in high social welfare as consumers have had limited access to various product lines or paid high prices for some products. This paper examines the distribution system in the automobile industry to promote understanding about the impacts of the system on price differentials.