COVID-19 and Digital Resilience: Evidence from Uber Eats

29 Pages Posted: 16 Jun 2020 Last revised: 10 May 2021

See all articles by Manav Raj

Manav Raj

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business

Arun Sundararajan

NYU Stern School of Business; New York University (NYU) - Center for Data Science

Calum You

Uber Technologies Inc.

Date Written: March 22, 2021

Abstract

We analyze how digital platforms can be a source of resilience for firms during a crisis by providing continuity in access to customers. Using order-level data from Uber Technologies, we study how the COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing shutdown of businesses in the United States affected small business restaurant supply and demand on the Uber Eats platform. We find evidence that small restaurants experience significant increases in total activity, orders per day, and orders per hour following the closure of the dine-in channel and that these increases may be due to both demand-side and supply-side shocks. We document an increase in the intensity of competitive effects following the shock, showing that growth in the number of providers on a platform induces both market expansion and heightened inter-provider competition. Our findings underscore the critical role that digital technologies play in enabling business resilience in the economy and provide insight into how supply-side and demand-side factors shape business performance on a platform.

Keywords: COVID, coronavirus, platform, sharing economy, crisis, Uber, competition, disruption

JEL Classification: L1, L83, L86, D43, O38

Suggested Citation

Raj, Manav and Sundararajan, Arun and You, Calum, COVID-19 and Digital Resilience: Evidence from Uber Eats (March 22, 2021). NYU Stern School of Business, 2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3625638 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3625638

Manav Raj

New York University (NYU) - Leonard N. Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street
Suite 9-160
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United States

Arun Sundararajan (Contact Author)

NYU Stern School of Business ( email )

44 West 4th Street, KMC 8-90
New York, NY 10012
United States

HOME PAGE: http://digitalarun.ai/

New York University (NYU) - Center for Data Science ( email )

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Calum You

Uber Technologies Inc. ( email )

1455 Market St
San Francisco, CA 94103-1331
United States

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