Geographic Spillovers on the High-Street: A natural experiment during the COVID-19 pandemic


We investigate the effect of the UK’s “Eat Out to Help Out" policy on firm creation. The policy subsidised people to eat-out at participating restaurants for a period over the COVID-19 pandemic. We find that the policy caused a 5.6% increase in business registrations in areas with participating restaurants. The increase is largest in high-street service activities such as ‘hairdressing and other beauty treatment’. We interpret this as evidence of a demand stimulus in one sector, leading to anticipated demand increases in geographically-close sectors, and consequently a supply increase as measured by firm creation.

This paper has been submitted to a peer-review journal.
Yannis Galanakis
Yannis Galanakis
Postdoctoral Research Associate