Has COVID-19 Permanently Changed Online Consumption Behavior?

         
Author Name INOUE Hiroyasu (University of Hyogo / Japan Science and Technology Agency / RIKEN Center for Computational Science) / TODO Yasuyuki (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. March 2022 22-E-018
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Abstract

This study examines how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected online consumption using data from a major online shopping platform in Japan. Our particular focus is the effect of two measures of the pandemic, i.e., the number of positive cases of COVID-19 and the declaration of states of emergency to mitigate the pandemic. We find that both measures promoted online consumption at the beginning of the pandemic, but their effect then faded in later periods. In addition, online consumption is found to have returned to normal after states of emergency ended, and the overall time trend in online consumption excluding the effects of the two measures was also stable during the first two years of the pandemic. These results suggest that the effect of the pandemic on online consumption is temporary and will not persist after the pandemic.