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Stephan Dietrich, Valerio Giuffrida, Bruno Martorano, Georg Schmerzeck
1 March 2021

The first wave of COVID-19 containment measures raised concerns about the capacity of markets to withstand the shock without generating distortions. In this analysis, researchers move beyond the aggregated effects which hide internal dynamics in the countries. Analyzing 789 retail markets in 47 low to middle income countries, the results shows that more stringent policy responses increase food prices for integrated and less remote markets but not for segmented markets. The impact of the stringency of policy responses on food prices is mediated by reductions in mobility and moderated by markets' pre-Corona dependency on trade.