Distribute consumer vouchers in multiple places and make the multiplier effect become the key

Experts believe that consumer vouchers should be issued mainly to industries that are more affected by the epidemic, and be alert to administrative monopolies

At present, with the gradual control of the epidemic, various provinces and cities across the country have introduced consumer vouchers to boost consumption recovery after the epidemic. According to incomplete statistics, as of April 3, more than 30 regions across the country have issued relevant policies. Compared with issuing cash directly, consumption vouchers can be more directly converted into actual consumption.

However, exactly how to issue consumer coupons is more fair and maximizes the multiplier effect, which deserves in-depth discussion. Here, on April 5, the Beijing News organized an online academic seminar on the theme of "Maximizing the Multiplier Effect of Consumer Coupons", focusing on the background and characteristics of consumer coupons distribution, how to combine the platform to play consumer coupons Issues such as maximizing the multiplier effect and the fairness of distribution are discussed in depth.

Consumption vouchers can be used for limited purposes to unlock consumption potential

Affected by the new Coronary Pneumonia epidemic, the current consumer market is cold, and consumer coupons have become the preferred method for governments to stimulate the recovery of consumption.

In this regard, Dong Chao, director of the Institute of Circulation and Consumption of the Institute of International Trade and Economic Cooperation of the Ministry of Commerce, believes that on the one hand, consumer vouchers can directly stimulate consumption growth in the short term, with a multiplier amplification effect, and promote the release of residents ’consumption potential; on the other hand The consumption vouchers can be used for specific purposes and have a stimulating effect on specific areas, such as the issuance of consumption vouchers for rural tourism, catering and local life services. At the same time, consumer coupons can also be issued to special groups such as the poor to protect the basic lives of residents, and have a positive effect on stable employment and promotion of resumption of labor and production.

Compared to issuing cash to residents, consumption vouchers will be more conducive to stimulating consumption. Yu Fengxia, deputy director of the Research Center for Sharing Economy of the National Information Center, said that the government issued consumer vouchers, which triggered an increase in total demand and further expanded reproduction, which led to an increase in enterprise labor, and then a rise in residents' income and consumption, forming a virtuous circle.

If the government finds gold, it may flow into savings, and may also be used for other purposes, such as paying mortgages or even investment, and will not all enter the industry expected by the local government.

Ma Liang, assistant dean of the National Development and Strategy Research Institute of Renmin University of China, believes that there is a deadline for the use of consumer coupons, so it has a quick effect on driving consumption. Moreover, the consumption vouchers issued through the platform can be limited in use and precise in policy. At the same time, it will have a significant multiplier effect, and consumers will continue to increase consumption in order to enjoy subsidies.

Distribute consumer coupons through the platform to accurately assess the effect of issuance

In this round of issuance of consumer vouchers, most local governments have chosen to cooperate with platform companies and have initially achieved good results. For example, the local governments of various cities and the United States recently launched the "Safe Consumption Festival". According to data from Meituan, the electronic consumer coupons were online for 72 hours, and the transaction volume of participating merchants in Yinchuan was 409 percentage points higher than that of non-participating merchants.

Regarding the benefits of cooperation between local governments and platforms, Zhu Keli, executive dean of the National Research Institute of New Economy, believes that issuing consumer vouchers through the platform can eliminate some drawbacks. In the past, paper consumer coupons not only issued low efficiency and low matching degree, but also caused some moral hazards. By combining with the platform, you can use big data to improve efficiency and accuracy, and minimize these drawbacks.

In response to the new characteristics of the objects and methods of issuing consumer coupons this year, Dong Chao pointed out that consumer coupons should be issued mainly to industries that are more affected by the epidemic, such as catering, tourism and local life services, and consumer demand after the outbreak Increased industries, such as sports and fitness, education and smart devices, stimulate long-term consumption potential and promote consumption upgrades.

The consumption coupons are issued through platform enterprises, and there is more room for realization. Ma Liang believes that on the one hand, the platform has the advantages of big data and algorithm support, which can track the time, place and method of consumption coupons in real time, so that the government can continuously optimize and adjust policies. On the other hand, the government can hand over the task of stimulating consumption to the platform. The platform can design different consumption coupon usage schemes, and at the same time it is convenient for the government to more accurately evaluate the effect of policy implementation.

The issuance of consumer coupons should be tilted towards non-rigid demand areas

Consumer vouchers can be cooperated with different platforms and issued to different industries, but there are many issues that should be noted.

Huang Jin, deputy director of the Competition Law Center of the Institute of International Law of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that the government should issue consumer coupons in conjunction with the platform, because the government ’s ability to analyze big data is limited, so look for a comprehensive service platform with capabilities, experience, and multiple scenarios. Through the big data model, the design of consumer coupons will be more refined, and guidance will be promoted to the consumption of non-rigid demand industries affected by the epidemic.

Regarding the problems of rigid demand and non-rigid demand, Huang Jin also said that masks and alcohol during the epidemic are just-needed products, and this time we issue consumer coupons should be inclined to non-rigid-demand industries and products with greater demand elasticity. Such as the catering industry, cultural tourism, local life services, etc., they have a longer industrial chain, and more horizontally related industries, which can drive the recovery of chain consumption.

■ Focus issues

The issuance of consumer coupons cannot avoid "fairness"

The issuance of consumer coupons through the platform has many advantages. How to ensure fair competition between the platforms and form a benign government-enterprise cooperation has become a focus of this seminar.

Distribute consumer vouchers according to law to create a fair environment

The issuance of consumer coupons must not only be efficient and effective, but also ensure fairness. In this regard, Huang Jin said that the issuance of consumer coupons is fiscal expenditure, in fact, it is a kind of subsidy. As a government subsidy, policy implementation must be legal and compliant, and attention must be paid to maintaining fair competition in the market. When using a platform for distribution, you cannot arbitrarily specify which platform does this.

Issuing consumer vouchers is an act of the government. Whether it can promote fair competition in the market in accordance with laws and regulations is also an important indicator reflecting the local optimization of the business environment. Huang Jin pointed out that in accordance with the provisions of the Regulations on Optimizing the Business Environment, implemented on January 1, 2020, administrative agencies are required to conduct fair competition reviews. If the local government issues abuse of administrative power by issuing consumer vouchers, if no platform is specified without any procedures, it will obviously violate the relevant legal requirements such as the principle of fair competition and antitrust laws. Therefore, government actions must be fair in accordance with laws and regulations, and not only cooperate with some large platforms, but also small and medium-sized platforms. Policy formulation must consider coverage and the breadth of benefits.

Call for the introduction of relevant guidance on consumer coupons

In order to cope with the epidemic, some local governments initially introduced policies to simplify their power and ignore many issues. This is not incomprehensible. However, experts at the meeting believed that the epidemic will continue for some time, and the release of consumption power may only come in April and May. It is foreseeable that more places will launch consumer vouchers. Therefore, the next step is to consider the issue of consumer vouchers.

In this regard, Ma Liang urged that for the issuance of consumer vouchers, the relevant departments should issue some guiding opinions to supervise and regulate, and the local government will follow up to avoid some chaos. Through policy top-down regulation, local governments can learn from each other not only to circumvent legal risks, but also to correct irregularities in the implementation process of various localities.

Different platform resources, no choice for local

Due to different platform areas, different service resources, and differences in user group characteristics, local governments need to avoid simplification of cooperation platforms. Yu Fengxia said that different types of platforms have unique advantages. For example, wide coverage of payment platforms is their advantage, but the linkage with ground merchants is relatively weak. Comprehensive life service platforms, they are more closely connected with offline merchants and have richer consumption scenarios. Therefore, local governments should fully evaluate the advantages of different types of platforms and give full play to their complementary roles. And if only a certain type of platform is chosen, it will also increase the risk of criminals cheating and exploiting technology.

Consumer coupons should also be paid to small and micro businesses

The other side of the fairness of consumer voucher distribution is to ensure that large and small businesses are issued fairly, and that small and micro enterprises and businesses with poor risk resistance should not be ignored.

According to Yi Shaohua, director and researcher of the Market Circulation and Consumption Research Office of the Institute of Financial Strategy of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, it is the small and micro businesses that have been hit the hardest this time. Local governments can focus on issuing consumer vouchers to them, through discounts and promotions, or directly issue consumer red envelopes to certain small and micro businesses to help them regain their vitality as soon as possible. By subsidizing small and micro businesses, consumer coupons can benefit more people and stimulate consumption.

Beijing News reporter Wang Chunrui