27 research outputs found

    Google Econometrics and Unemployment Forecasting

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    The current economic crisis requires fast information to predict economic behavior early, which is difficult at times of structural changes. This paper suggests an innovative new method of using data on internet activity for that purpose. It demonstrates strong correlations between keyword searches and unemployment rates using monthly German data and exhibits a strong potential for the method used.time-series analysis, internet, Google, keyword search, search engine, unemployment, predictions

    Calling the Greek Referendum on the nose with Google Trends

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    In a bold and risky political move the Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras called for a referendum on June 27 2015 quitting ongoing negotiations with Greece's creditors in Brussels. The referendum framed as a yes or no question asked the Greek voters to decide whether or not they approve or reject the latest take-it-or-leave-it proposal for "program con- tinuation" by Greece's creditors. What followed was a chaotic week leading to the referendum with intense campaigning by the two camps. Due to tense debates and increasing polarisation it became increasingly impossible to rely on traditional polling. Even the first exit polls (performed by phone on Sunday evening) could only see a marginal lead for one or the other vote at different times. Quite possibly people were jumping party lines and were unwilling to reveal their preferences. Using Google Trends I could tap into voters' true and unbiased revealed preferences and nowcast hourly what the ratio of the No vote to the Yes vote is and called an over 60% No vote well ahead of the closing of the voting urns. In this paper I document this nowcasting exercise

    Detecting Mortgage Delinquencies

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    Economic hardship is strongly reflected by the housing market. It is the concern of much research, but its analysis is often obstructed by insufficient lagged data. This paper evaluates search intensity for "hardship letter" from Google Insights to detect ensuing mortgage delinquencies. Such searches locate documents which assist to write a successful loan modification request. Other relevant searches for "short sale", "REO" (as in Real Estate Owned) or "FHA" (as in Federal Housing Administration) are used to provide a comprehensive view of the housing market. Using data from the great recession and benchmarking them against data from the labor market, the paper demonstrates that internet activity captures socioeconomic phenomena in real time very well, with no interviewer effect at a high frequency. This suggests that the new data base should spur new housing research.housing, hardship letter, loan delinquency, mortgage, National Delinquency Survey (NDS), financial crisis, recession, bubble, Google Insights

    A Summer Break for the Unemployment Rate: Google-Assisted Forecasting Signals Easing

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    To date, the Great Recession has only had a mild impact on the German labor market. In view of the uncertainties surrounding future economic growth, the low utilization of the workforce in firms, and the prevalence of working hour reductions, many observers are anticipating a dramatic rise in unemployment in the fall, with the total number of unemployed rapidly surpassing the four-million mark. Yet according to forecasts based on Google search statistics, in all likelihood the unemployment rate will remain relatively stable in August and through the end of September, when elections for the German Bundestag will be held. The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is actually falling. Given this fact, the danger that the total number of unemployed will exceed four million during this year seems increasingly unlikely.Google, Internet, Keyword search, Search engine, Unemployment, Predictions

    Health and Well-Being in the Crisis

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    The internet has become an important data source for the Social Sciences because these data are available without lags, can be regarded as involuntary surveys and hence have no observer effect, can be geo-labeled, are available for countries across the globe and can be viewed in continuous time scales from the micro to the macro level. The paper uses internet search data to document how the great economic crisis has affected people’s well-being and health studying the US, Germany and a cross section of the G8 countries. We investigate two types of searches which capture self-diagnosis and treatment respectively: those that contain the words ’symptoms’ and ’side effects’. Significant spikes for both types of searches in all three areas (US, Germany and the G8) are found, which are coincident with the crisis and its contagion timeline. An array of due diligence checks are performed and a number of alternative hypotheses are excluded to confirm that the search spikes imply an increase in malaise.well-being, symptoms, side effects, Gallup, economic crisis, financial crisis, ill-being

    Predicting the Irish 'Gay Marriage' Referendum

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    The Toll Index: Innovation-based Economic Telemetry

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    We present the operationalized Toll Index, which is a new type of early indicator for the German business cycle. We present the basic idea and document the power of the indicator for the purpose of nowcasting. The data will be regularly available at the IDSC, the data bank center of IZA and will be accessible there through the homepage. We further emphasize several policy recommendations regarding data
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