Online and On-site Commerce and the Geographic Concentration of Economic Activity: Evidence from Transaction data
  • David Bounie
  • , Youssouf Camara
  • and John W Galbraith
- documents de travail
The geographical pattern of consumers' expenditures, whether made on-site or online, has implications for the concentration of economic activity and for regional economic development. Although data limitations have held back knowledge of this aspect of consumer behaviour, consumer transaction data offer the potential to investigate such geographical patterns, and the impact of online commerce on these patterns and on inter-regional retail trade linkages. Here we investigate these linkages using inter-regional retail trade measures from billions of domestic consumer transactions made through bank cards, in France in 2019. We find robust evidence that online consumer expenditures are less affected by geographic distance and more heavily concentrated in the already-large regional economies, relative to on-site expenditure; this suggests that the increasing movement toward online purchasing tends to increase the concentration of overall economic activity, and may have important implications for regional economic development.