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Health and Well-Being in the Crisis

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Author Info

  • Askitas, Nikos

    ()
    (IZA)

  • Zimmermann, Klaus F.

    ()
    (IZA and University of Bonn)

Abstract

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.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5601.

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Length: 31 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5601

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Related research

Keywords: well-being; symptoms; side effects; Gallup; economic crisis; financial crisis; ill-being;

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  1. Francesco D’Amuri & Juri Marcucci, 2010. "“Google it!”Forecasting the US Unemployment Rate with a Google Job Search index," Working Papers, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei 2010.31, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
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Cited by:
  1. Askitas, Nikos & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2011. "Detecting Mortgage Delinquencies," IZA Discussion Papers 5895, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Blanchflower, David G; Oswald, Andrew, 2011. "Antidepressants and Age," CAGE Online Working Paper Series, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE) 44, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  3. Frijters, P.; & Johnston, D.W.; & Lordan, G.; & Shields, M.;, 2013. "Exploring the relationship between macroeconomic conditions and problem drinking as captured by Google searches in the US," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York 13/02, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  4. Guzi, Martin & de Pedraza, Pablo, 2013. "A Web Survey Analysis of the Subjective Well-being of Spanish Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 7618, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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