the Group of economists within ten days after receiving a majority of US citizens to the direct monetary support from the government were able to assess how fast and on what the money is spent. Their findings correspond to the expectations: program of targeted support more effectively the universal distribution of money, up to a third of “trump checks” is spent already in the first week, and the more prosperous the family, the higher the tendency to convert them into savings and not spent on consumption, as expected by the government.

the team of economists leading the U.S. business schools — Kellog, Booths, business school Columbia University — and Stephen Meyer from University of southern Denmark, in a series of NBER published the first study of changes in expenses of citizens of the United States, received from the government direct monetary payments at the end of March 2020.

Payments addressed to have earned at least $75 million last year, not made to owners of income above $99 thousand per year per person and less if the income in 2019 was in the range of $75-99 million (all estimates — before taxes).

Such a fast cost evaluation is made possible in cooperation with researchers popular in the United States service SaverLife, allowing users to monitor their spending and organize savings: economists have gained access to anonymized data on daily expenditures and savings from April 2019 to April 2020, more than 44 thousand users of the system. The average income of respondents per person in the household was before taxes about $25 thousand per year is significantly below average, SaverLife — most “national” service, however, the high-yielding group, also present in the dataset, researchers, and practically not interested in — they are “payments of Donald trump,” as a rule, not received.

the Objective of economists was to find patterns in consumer behavior of households in respect of payments data can be linked to age, gender, education level, family size, place of residence of the respondents.

Assumptions about how the US population will dispose of a “stimulus package” was different. On the one hand, the practice of direct monetary support in the United States is: the work compares the effectiveness of “trump checks” with a similar program in 2001 and 2008 (when the economic crisis and to a lesser extent). Recall the basic logic of the law CARES: payments are made for General support of demand in the economy and to compensate the population of the new costs associated with forced anti-restriction activity. The experience of 2001 and 2008 suggests that the money will be spent by households within six months, mostly on food and non-durables potrevitalise goods short-term demand.

during the first ten days the average household has already spent from $0.25 up $0.35 from each dollar paid, which is above estimates. “Trump cheques” began to spend, in fact, even before they were obtained: the average level of potrebrashody increased two days prior to the receipt of amounts by 20-50%. The direction of spending, as expected, food (we will remind, in the USA limit the operation of restaurants and cafes), not what expected — durable goods (albeit in small amounts), consumption non-durables program is not affected.

a Preliminary answer to the question of “Better targeted aid or universal distribution of money?” is also obtained and predictable, though the program CARES largely ignored. A group of anonymous respondents in work were divided into four groups according to the level fixed SaverLife savings.

Recall support for the unemployed is in the United States through other channels. Thus, part of the package dogtraining CARES, which would be quite able to compensate actually incurred by households losses and to support part of the demand, apparently, from this point of view was an act of pure charity for the benefit of those who are in it, at least for now, not needed.

Dmitry Butrin