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Short-term forecasting of the COVID-19 pandemic using Google Trends data: Evidence from 158 countries

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  • Fantazzini, Dean

    (Moscow School of Economics, Moscow State University, Moscow;)

Abstract

The ability of Google Trends data to forecast the number of new daily cases and deaths of COVID-19 is examined using a dataset of 158 countries. The analysis includes the computations of lag correlations between confirmed cases and Google data, Granger causality tests, and an out-of-sample forecasting exercise with 18 competing models with a forecast horizon of 14 days ahead. This evidence shows that Google-augmented models outperform the competing models for most of the countries. This is significant because Google data can complement epidemiological models during difficult times like the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, when official statistics maybe not fully reliable and/or published with a delay. Moreover, real-time tracking with online-data is one of the instruments that can be used to keep the situation under control when national lockdowns are lifted and economies gradually reopen.

Suggested Citation

  • Fantazzini, Dean, 2020. "Short-term forecasting of the COVID-19 pandemic using Google Trends data: Evidence from 158 countries," Applied Econometrics, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration (RANEPA), vol. 59, pages 33-54.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:apltrx:0398
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    As found on the RePEc Biblio, the curated bibliography for Economics:
    1. > Economics of Welfare > Health Economics > Economics of Pandemics > Specific pandemics > Covid-19 > Health > Measurement

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    1. Schneider, Tim & Meub, Lukas & Bizer, Kilian, 2021. "Consumer information in a market for expert services: Experimental evidence," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 94(C).
    2. Gaetano Perone, 2022. "Comparison of ARIMA, ETS, NNAR, TBATS and hybrid models to forecast the second wave of COVID-19 hospitalizations in Italy," The European Journal of Health Economics, Springer;Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gesundheitsökonomie (DGGÖ), vol. 23(6), pages 917-940, August.
    3. Nelson Mileu & Nuno M. Costa & Eduarda M. Costa & André Alves, 2022. "Mobility and Dissemination of COVID-19 in Portugal: Correlations and Estimates from Google’s Mobility Data," Data, MDPI, vol. 7(8), pages 1-17, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Covid-19; Google Trends; VAR; ARIMA; ARIMA-X; ETS; LASSO; SIR model.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C51 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Construction and Estimation
    • C53 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Forecasting and Prediction Models; Simulation Methods
    • G17 - Financial Economics - - General Financial Markets - - - Financial Forecasting and Simulation
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other

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