Zooming along! Our Expert Research Reveals Shared E-Scooter Systems Can Generate Significant Positive Economic Spillover

Zooming along! Our Expert Research Reveals Shared E-Scooter Systems Can Generate Significant Positive Economic Spillover

March 16, 20212 min read

New research examining the economic impact of micromobility on local economies found shared e-scooter systems created an estimated $13.8 million in additional sales across 370 food and beverage companies in four cities over six months in 2019, as compared to four similar cities over the same time period without e-scooter programs.

The study compared consumer purchase patterns in four cities that allowed operation of shared e-scooter systems – Atlanta, Austin, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. – to similar cities that did not at the time – Boston, Houston, Phoenix, and Seattle. The study used extensive econometric methods to uncover purchasing that was caused by e-scooter rides, which would not have occurred otherwise.

“The post-COVID economic recovery remains slow, but this research shows we shouldn’t ignore the positive impact of micromobility on small businesses,” said Dan McCarthy, senior author of the study and assistant professor of marketing at Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. “This is especially relevant for the food and beverage sector, a significant source of jobs, which is suffering sales declines larger than most other sectors of the economy.”

The study uncovered e-scooter usage generated significant positive economic spillovers for the food and beverage industry purchasing in a similar way that consumers make impulse purchases at grocery stores – its effects are larger for businesses where the consumption happens more quickly, and businesses selling at lower prices.

Across the cities studied with e-scooter programs, total sales in the food and beverage category increased by an estimated 0.6 percent on average, or approximately $921 in incremental spending per available e-scooter for the food and beverage companies over the six-month period studied in the analysis.

“Since these companies represent approximately 15 percent of the overall food and beverage market in these cities, the actual impact could be much larger,” said McCarthy. “If, for instance, subsequent research confirmed a similar level of uptick across all food and beverage companies in these markets driven by micromobility, the overall full-year economic impact could be close to $200 million.”

If you're interested in learning more - there's a full article published by Emory Business attached.

And, if you're a journalist looking to cover this exciting and emerging topic - then let us help.  Dan McCarthy is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Emory University's Goizueta School of Business. His research specialty is the application of leading-edge statistical methodology to contemporary empirical marketing problems. Dan is available to speak with media - simply click on his icon now to arrange an intwrview today.

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  • Daniel McCarthy
    Daniel McCarthy Assistant Professor of Marketing

    Marketing expert focused upon methodologies and frameworks for predicting customer behavior to better understand firm-level outcomes

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