The Effect of COVID-19 Lockdown and the Subsequent Re-Opening on Consumption in Iran
35 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2020 Last revised: 8 Jan 2021
Date Written: July 30, 2020
We use country-wide data on all electronic payments in point-of-sale (POS) and online terminals of Iran to study the change in the pattern of consumption and online-offline substitution during the COVID-19 lockdown and after the relaxation of restrictions in May and June. Using a difference-in-difference approach, we find that during the strictest lockdown month, growth in value of transactions dropped by 41% compared to the benchmark month before the pandemic. After lifting the lockdown, the growth rose by 12% above the benchmark month. We also find that the COVID-19 pandemic led to a spike in online transactions of activities with online terminals and has had a persistent effect on consumer preference for online shopping even after the reopening of the economy.
Keywords: COVID-19, consumption, online purchasing, transaction data, Iran
JEL Classification: D12, E21
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation