NBER

Yong Wang

#5 Jianguomennei Street
Beijing 100732
China

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Chinese Academy of Social Science

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2020"Quick Response" Economic Stimulus: The Effect of Small-Value Digital Coupons on Spending
with Jianwei Xing, Eric Zou, Zhentao Yin, Zhenhua Li: w27596
We study a new consumption stimulus model that leverages mobile payment platforms to dispense massive amounts of small-value, use-it-this-week-or-lose-it digital coupons. We evaluate the effects of one such program in a large Chinese city using novel data of mobile platform transactions of 1 million program participants. Exploiting participants’ rush to the first-come, first-served digital portal, we compare spending among those who barely won coupons to those who barely lost because of minor differences in the timing of their arrival at the portal. We find that coupons generate an immediate increase in weekly consumption among winners by $3 additional out-of-pocket spending for every $1 in government subsidy. Analysis of business customer flows suggests that coupons distort consumption to...

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