Global supply and demand of medical ventilators in the fight against Covid-19: a network analysis

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Soyyigit S., EREN E.

ASIA-PACIFIC JOURNAL OF REGIONAL SCIENCE, vol.6, no.3, pp.1221-1247, 2022 (ESCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2022
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s41685-022-00253-8
  • Journal Indexes: Emerging Sources Citation Index (ESCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1221-1247
  • Keywords: Public health, Medical goods trade, Global value chains, Pandemic, Laissez faire system, Global supply and demand for medical goods, COMPLEX NETWORKS
  • Yıldız Technical University Affiliated: Yes


As global value chains have taken shape, the geographic concentration of production in specific centers or hubs to minimize production costs is an issue that has been raised following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The criticism typically highlights how the production capacity within these global value chains is insufficient to meet the global needs for medical equipment and devices in this type of crisis. This study uses complex network analysis to examine the global trade structure of surgical masks and medical ventilators and its general patterns. The findings of this study conducted between 2019 and 2020 show that this trade structure has complex network properties and a core-periphery structure. A comparative evaluation of the results from these 2 years also reveals the economic fragility of the ventilator trade network even if it is easier to adapt urgent conditions in mask trade. In addition, according to the network analysis and the authority centrality values for 2020 the fact that the highest-ranked countries for ventilator imports are almost exclusively developed countries suggests that the trade structure might also indicate a moral deterioration. In sum, the empirical findings confirm that the structure of the current global value chains will not be immune to supply shocks during emergencies such as a pandemic.