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Consumption Dynamics in the COVID Crisis: Real Time Insights from French Transaction & Bank Data


  • Landais, Camille
  • Bounie, David
  • Camara, Youssouf
  • Fize, Etienne
  • Galbraith, John W.
  • Lavest, Chloe
  • Pazem, Tatiana
  • Savatier, Baptiste


We use anonymised transaction and bank data from France to document the evolution of consumption and savings dynamics since the onset of the pandemic. We find that consumption has dropped very severely during the nation-wide lockdown but experienced a strong and steady rebound during the Summer, before faltering in late September. This drop in consumption was met with a significant increase in aggregate households’ net financial wealth. This excess savings is extremely heterogenous across the income distribution: 50% of excess wealth accrued to the top decile. Households in the bottom decile of the income distribution experienced a severe decrease in consumption, a decrease in savings and an increase in debt. We estimate marginal propensities to consume and show that their magnitude is large, especially at the bottom of the income and liquidity distributions.

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  • Landais, Camille & Bounie, David & Camara, Youssouf & Fize, Etienne & Galbraith, John W. & Lavest, Chloe & Pazem, Tatiana & Savatier, Baptiste, 2020. "Consumption Dynamics in the COVID Crisis: Real Time Insights from French Transaction & Bank Data," CEPR Discussion Papers 15474, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:15474

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Eika, Lasse & Mogstad, Magne & Vestad, Ola L., 2020. "What can we learn about household consumption expenditure from data on income and assets?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 189(C).
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    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Covid-19 > Economic consequences > Consumption


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    Cited by:

    1. Kohlscheen, Emanuel & Lombardi, Marco & Zakrajšek, Egon, 2021. "Income Inequality and the depth of economic downturns," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 205(C).
    2. Michiru Kaneda & So Kubota & Satoshi Tanaka, 2021. "Who spent their COVID-19 stimulus payment? Evidence from personal finance software in Japan," The Japanese Economic Review, Springer, vol. 72(3), pages 409-437, July.
    3. Bounie, David & Camara, Youssouf & Galbraith, John W., 2023. "Consumer mobility and expenditure during the COVID-19 containments: Evidence from French transaction data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 151(C).
    4. Jung, Haeil & Kim, Jun Hyung & Hong, Gihyeon, 2023. "Impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on single-person households in South Korea," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C).
    5. Hodbod, Alexander & Hommes, Cars & Huber, Stefanie J. & Salle, Isabelle, 2021. "The COVID-19 consumption game-changer: Evidence from a large-scale multi-country survey," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 140(C).
    6. Piluca Alvargonzález & Marina Gómez & Carmen Martínez-Carrascal & Myroslav Pidkuyko & Ernesto Villanueva, 2022. "Analysis of labor flows and consumption in Spain during COVID-19," Occasional Papers 2202, Banco de España.
    7. Ludmila Fadejeva & Boriss Siliverstovs & Karlis Vilerts & Anete Brinke, 2022. "Consumer Spending in the Covid-19 Pandemic: Evidence from Card Transactions in Latvia," Discussion Papers 2022/01, Latvijas Banka.
    8. Nicolas Gonzalez-Pampillon & Gonzalo Nunez-Chaim & Henry G. Overman, 2022. "The economic impacts of the UK's eat out to help out scheme," CEP Discussion Papers dp1865, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    9. Kubota, So & Onishi, Koichiro & Toyama, Yuta, 2021. "Consumption responses to COVID-19 payments: Evidence from a natural experiment and bank account data," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 188(C), pages 1-17.
    10. Zimpelmann, Christian & Gaudecker, Hans-Martin von & Holler, Radost & Janys, Lena & Siflinger, Bettina, 2021. "Hours and income dynamics during the Covid-19 pandemic: The case of the Netherlands," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    11. Ricardo Muñoz-Cancino & Sebastian A. Rios & Marcel Goic & Manuel Graña, 2021. "Non-Intrusive Assessment of COVID-19 Lockdown Follow-Up and Impact Using Credit Card Information: Case Study in Chile," IJERPH, MDPI, vol. 18(11), pages 1-16, May.
    12. Nicolás González-Pampillón & Gonzalo Nunez-Chaim & Katharina Ziegler, 2021. "Recovering from the first Covid-19 lockdown: Economic impacts of the UK's Eat Out to Help Out scheme," CEP Covid-19 Analyses cepcovid-19-018, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
    13. Bruno P. Carvalho & Susana Peralta & João Pereira dos Santos, 2022. "Regional and sectorial impacts of the Covid‐19 crisis: Evidence from electronic payments," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(3), pages 757-798, June.
    14. Melanie Koch & Thomas Scheiber, 2022. "Mitigating the impact of the pandemic on personal finances in CESEE: descriptive evidence for 2020," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue Q2/22, pages 63-96.
    15. Mr. Francesco Grigoli & Mr. Damiano Sandri, 2022. "Monetary Policy and Credit Card Spending," IMF Working Papers 2022/255, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Stefanie Huber, 2022. "SHE canÕt afford it and HE doesnÕt want it: The gender gap in the COVID-19 consumption response," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 22-029/II, Tinbergen Institute.
    17. Bańnkowska, Katarzyna & Borlescu, Ana Maria & Charalambakis, Evangelos & Da Silva, António Dias & Di Laurea, Davide & Dossche, Maarten & Georgarakos, Dimitris & Honkkila, Juha & Kennedy, Neale & Kenny, 2021. "ECB Consumer Expectations Survey: an overview and first evaluation," Occasional Paper Series 287, European Central Bank.
    18. Asger Lau Andersen & Emil Toft Hansen & Niels Johannesen & Adam Sheridan, 2022. "Consumer responses to the COVID‐19 crisis: evidence from bank account transaction data," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 124(4), pages 905-929, October.
    19. Martin, Philippe & Cros, Mathieu & Epaulard, Anne, 2021. "Will Schumpeter Catch Covid-19?," CEPR Discussion Papers 15834, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    20. Goldfayn-Frank, Olga & Lewis, Vivien & Wehrhöfer, Nils, 2022. "Spending effects of child-related fiscal transfers," Discussion Papers 26/2022, Deutsche Bundesbank.

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