Consumers' Mobility, Expenditure and Online-Offline Substitution Response to COVID-19: Evidence from French Transaction Data

54 Pages Posted: 29 Apr 2020 Last revised: 11 May 2020

See all articles by David Bounie

David Bounie

Télécom Paris

Youssouf Camara

Télécom Paris; Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau

John W. Galbraith

McGill University - Department of Economics; Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis on Organization (CIRANO)

Date Written: April 29, 2020

Abstract

This paper investigates a number of general phenomena connected with consumer behaviour in response to a severe economic shock, using billions of French card transactions measured before and during the COVID-19 epidemic. We examine changes in consumer mobility, anticipatory behaviour in response to announced restrictions, and the contrasts between the responses of online and traditional point-of-sale (off-line) consumption expenditures to the shock. We track hourly, daily and weekly responses as well as estimating an aggregate fixed-period impact effect via a difference-in-difference estimator. The results, particularly at the sectoral level, suggest that {recourse} to the online shopping option diminished somewhat the overall impact of the shock on consumption expenditure, thereby increasing resiliency of the economy.

Keywords: COVID-19, consumption expenditure, consumer mobility, online commerce, resiliency, transaction data

JEL Classification: E21, E62, E61

Suggested Citation

Bounie, David and Camara, Youssouf and Galbraith, John W., Consumers' Mobility, Expenditure and Online-Offline Substitution Response to COVID-19: Evidence from French Transaction Data (April 29, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3588373 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3588373

David Bounie (Contact Author)

Télécom Paris ( email )

19 Place Marguerite Perey
Palaiseau, 91120
France

Youssouf Camara

Télécom Paris ( email )

19 Place Marguerite Perey
Palaiseau, 91120
France

Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau ( email )

Route de Saclay
Palaiseau, 91128
France

John W. Galbraith

McGill University - Department of Economics ( email )

855 Sherbrooke St. W
Montreal, Quebec H3A 2T7
Canada

Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis on Organization (CIRANO) ( email )

2020 rue University, 25th floor
Montreal H3C 3J7, Quebec
Canada

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