Evaluating Hong Kong Consumption Voucher Scheme
Evaluating Hong Kong Consumption Voucher Scheme
Hao Geng, Ce (Matthew) Shi, Zheng Song
Year of Publishing:
Policy Report

This report employs detailed transaction records from AlipayHK to evaluate the effectiveness of the 2021 Hong Kong Consumption Voucher scheme. We use a difference-in-differences (DID) design that compares the change in the spending of the voucher recipients after the program with the change of the non-recipients.

We find that Hong Kong Consumption Voucher (HKCV) increased the spending on AlipayHK by 109% of the value of the voucher. In particular, consumer spending on non-durable goods and services increased significantly, accounting for at least 57%–63% of the total spending increase. To assess the aggregate effect of the program, we take two approaches to infer the unobserved change in the spending through other payment methods. The first is to re-do the estimation for the consumers who are less likely to shift their spending to AlipayHK. The second is to back out the unobserved spending by calibrating a simple model with multiple payment methods. Both approaches suggest a significant amount of spending shifted to AlipayHK. Yet, the estimated increase in total spending of the recipients remains large, ranging from 80% to 101% of the value of the program. Even the most conservative estimate of the marginal propensity to consume is close to the upper bound of the estimates in the literature.

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