The COVID-19 Crisis and Consumption: Survey Evidence from Six EU Countries
60 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2020 Last revised: 8 Jan 2021
Date Written: December 11, 2020
Using new panel data from a representative survey of households in the six largest euro area economies, the paper estimates the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on consumption. The panel provides, each month, household-specific indicators of the concern about finances due to COVID-19 from the first peak of the pandemic until October 2020. The results show that this concern causes a significant reduction in non-durable consumption. The paper also explores the potential impact on consumption of government interventions and of another wave of COVID-19, using household-level consumption adjustments to scenarios that involve positive and negative income shocks. Pandemic-related financial concerns induce a significant reduction (increase) in the marginal propensity to consume in response to a positive (negative) income shock, an effect consistent with models of precautionary saving and liquidity constraints. These results are robust to endogeneity problems through the use of panel fixed effects models as well as partial identification methods that account also for time-varying unobservable variables, and provide informative identification regions of the average treatment effect of the financial concern due to COVID-19 under weak assumptions.
Keywords: COVID-19, Consumption, Income Shocks, Marginal Propensity to Consume, Financial Concerns, Fiscal Policies
JEL Classification: D12, D81, E21, G51, H31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation