Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Power Disturbances: An Examination of Short-Term Losses in the Downstream Supply Chain



Douglas Thomas, Juan Fung


Approximately 75 % of U.S. firms experience a major supply chain disruption annually and the causes of many of these disruptions are not well understood. One potential source of disruption is power outages, which can disrupt production for firms without alternative sources of electricity. We examine the short-term losses that manufacturers experience as a result of power outages in their supplier network. The analysis uses regression in the form of a Cobb-Douglas production function to estimate GDP losses in the U.S. at the state level. Our findings suggest that the downstream supply chain may contain a large share of the economic impact when compared to other losses estimated in the literature. The results suggest that eliminating power outages increases manufacturing value added by 2.3 % ($49.0 billion in 2016). Loss estimates for other supply chain areas and/or time periods from the literature range from $19 billion to $255 billion. Our results suggest a large additional loss in GDP results from power outages in the supply chain. We also find that a $50 billion dollar investment in resilience is estimated to be cost effective if it has a 5 % or higher reduction in the direct and indirect losses.
Proceedings Title
AEA Conference
Conference Dates
January 6-8, 2023
Conference Location
New Orleans, LA, US
Conference Title
ASSA 2023 Annual Meeting


value added, supply chain, value added


Thomas, D. and Fung, J. (2023), Power Disturbances: An Examination of Short-Term Losses in the Downstream Supply Chain, AEA Conference, New Orleans, LA, US, [online], (Accessed April 23, 2024)
Created January 6, 2023, Updated January 12, 2023