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Fear of COVID-19 Contagion: The Idiosyncratic Effects of an Aggregate Pandemic Shock

Junichi Kikuchi, Ryoya Nagao and Yoshiyuki Nakazono

ISER Discussion Paper from Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University

Abstract: We examine how the fear of COVID-19 contagion influences consumer expenditure patterns. We show that the consumption expenditure responses to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic are significantly heterogeneous across generations. We find that the elderly spend less than the younger generation by at least 5% as COVID-19 spread. In fact, those aged above 60 significantly decreased their spending even on food and drink products by 13%. We also find that the elderly forgo shopping in favor of the younger generation. These heterogeneous responses are likely to be due to the fear of the COVID-19 infection.

Date: 2021-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-age and nep-hea
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