Discussion paper

DP17001 E-commerce During Covid: Stylized Facts from 47 Economies

We study e-commerce across 47 economies and 26 industries during the COVID-19 pandemic using aggregated and anonymized transaction-level data from Mastercard, scaled to represent total consumer spending. The share of online transactions in total consumption increased more in economies with higher pre-pandemic e-commerce shares, exacerbating the digital divide across economies. Overall, the latest data suggest that these spikes in online spending shares are dissipating at the aggregate level, though there is variation across industries. In particular, the share of online spending in professional services and recreation has fallen below its pre-pandemic trend, but we observe a longer-lasting shift to digital in retail and restaurants.


Alcedo, J, A Cavallo, B Dwyer, P Mishra and A Spilimbergo (2022), ‘DP17001 E-commerce During Covid: Stylized Facts from 47 Economies‘, CEPR Discussion Paper No. 17001. CEPR Press, Paris & London. https://cepr.org/publications/dp17001