Supply Chain Management Under Consumer Panic Buying and Hoarding

Project: Research

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According to a news release by the World Health Organization in March 2020, panic buying and hoarding are two of the four main reasons causing severe disruption to the global supply chain of personal protective equipment (PPE), in addition to rising demand and misuse. Such disruption creates huge risks for doctors, nurses and frontline workers who may not be adequately equipped to care for COVID-19 patients during this pandemic. In this project, we consider the contracting and investment problems in the supply chain, and focus on the effects of panic buying and hoarding behavior on strategic inventories of retailers and the resulting suppliers' contracting strategy. We define the concept of "the social welfare during the pandemic" (SWP), and study the impact of policies on panic buying, hoarding and supply chain investments. Finally, we will provide suggestions for the choice of public policy to improve the SWP. The successful completion of the project will contribute to the new research area of incorporating customer behavior into supply chain management. In addition, it will improve our understading of how customer panic buying and hoarding behavior affects the optimal strategy of retailers and suppliers, and shed lights on possible policies to deal with panic buying and hoarding in pandemics such as the current one induced by COVID-19. 


Project number9043228
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/22 → …