The Geography of Consumption and Local Economic Shocks: The Case of the Great Recession (PDF)

We estimate across-county spending flows between firms and consumers for every county in the United States, providing a new consumption link that has not been studied previously. We highlight the importance of this link by estimating the effect of changes in local housing wealth on consumption and employment from 2001 to 2019. We generally find that the effect from changes in housing wealth crosses borders to affect consumption and employment in a pattern consistent with our spending flows. However, we find potential consumers who reside outside the local commuting zone disproportionately affect local spending and employment during the Great Recession.


Abe C. Dunn and Mahsa Gholizadeh