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Using monthly zip-code level data on credit card transactions covering 16 U.S. cities, this paper investigates changes in consumption at local commercial places during the early coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) era. Since using aggregate-level data can suppress valuable information on consumption patterns coming from zip codes, the main contribution is achieved by estimating common factors across zip codes that are controlled for factors that are zip-code and time specific as well as those that are zip-code and sector specific. The estimation results based on common factors across zip codes show that relative consumption of products and services that can be consumed at home (e.g., grocery, pharmacy, home maintenance) has increased up to 56% amid COVID-19 compared to the previous year, whereas relative consumption of products and services that cannot be consumed at home (e.g., fuel, transportation, personal care services, restaurant) has decreased up to 51%. Similarly, after controlling for the corresponding factors, online shopping has increased up to 21%, while its expenditure share has increased by up to 16% compared to the pre-COVID-19 period.
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Yilmazkuday, Hakan, "Changes in Consumption in the Early COVID-19 Era: Zip-Code Level Evidence from the U.S." (2021). Coronavirus Research at FIU. 55.
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