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Health and Well-Being in the Crisis

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  • Askitas, Nikos

    () (IZA)

  • Zimmermann, Klaus F.

    (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.

Suggested Citation

  • Askitas, Nikos & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2011. "Health and Well-Being in the Crisis," IZA Discussion Papers 5601, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5601
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. D'Amuri, Francesco & Marcucci, Juri, 2009. "'Google it!' Forecasting the US unemployment rate with a Google job search index," ISER Working Paper Series 2009-32, Institute for Social and Economic Research.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nikolaos Askitas & Klaus F. Zimmermann, 2015. "The internet as a data source for advancement in social sciences," International Journal of Manpower, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 36(1), pages 2-12, April.
    2. Kronenberg, C. & Jacobs, R. & Zucchelli, E., 2015. "The impact of a wage increase on mental health: Evidence from the UK minimum wage," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 15/08, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    3. Alberto Montagnoli & Mirko Moro, 2014. "Everybody Hurts: Banking Crises and Individual Wellbeing," Working Papers 2014010, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
    4. Nikolaos Askitas, 2015. "Google search activity data and breaking trends," IZA World of Labor, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), pages 206-206, November.
    5. Askitas, Nikos & Zimmermann, Klaus F., 2011. "Detecting Mortgage Delinquencies," IZA Discussion Papers 5895, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    6. Frijters, Paul & Johnston, David W. & Lordan, Grace & Shields, Michael A., 2013. "Exploring the relationship between macroeconomic conditions and problem drinking as captured by Google searches in the US," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 61-68.
    7. Katolik, Aleksandra & Oswald, Andrew J., 2017. "Antidepressants for Economists and Business-School Researchers: An Introduction and Review," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 338, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    8. Askitas, Nikos, 2015. "Calling the Greek Referendum on the Nose with Google Trends," IZA Discussion Papers 9569, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Blanchflower, David G; Oswald, Andrew, 2011. "Antidepressants and Age," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 44, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    10. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2016. "Antidepressants and age: A new form of evidence for U-shaped well-being through life," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 46-58.
    11. 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).
    12. Gábor Hajdu & Tamás Hajdu, 2016. "The Impact of Culture on Well-Being: Evidence from a Natural Experiment," Journal of Happiness Studies, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 1089-1110, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • C81 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Microeconomic Data; Data Access
    • E32 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Business Fluctuations; Cycles
    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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