Traveling and Eating Out during the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Go To Campaign Policies in Japan

Author: Toshihiro Okubo
Date: 2021/8/21
No: DP2021-016
JEL Classification codes: H12, H20, H84
Language: English
[ Abstract / Highlights ]

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic plunged many sectors of the economy into contraction, particularly the travel, hotel accommodation, and eating/drinking industries. In Japan, some demand-inducing policies targeting such industries were implemented, known as the Go To Travel and Go To Eat campaigns. Using a unique individual-level survey, we investigate what factors make people respond to these campaign policies. We find that certain socioeconomics factors as well as noneconomic factors matter. In particular, risk attitudes, time preferences, and personal traits (e.g., extraversion) as measured by the Big 5 categories crucially affect whether people traveled or dined out in response to these campaigns despite the spread of COVID-19.