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Measuring Social Change Using Text Data: A Simple Distributional Approach

Author

Listed:
  • Takashi Kamihigashi

    (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)

  • Kazuhiro Seki

    (Faculty of Intelligence and Informatics, Konan University, Japan, and Research Institute for Economics and Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)

  • Masahiko Shibamoto

    (Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration (RIEB), Kobe University, Japan)

Abstract

This paper proposes a simple approach to measuring social change using text data. The approach is based on the idea that any significant change in a society should affect the distribution of the words used in the society. Essentially we use the total variation distance between the distributions of words in adjacent months as a measure of social change during the latter month. Based on text data from the Nikkei Newspaper from 1989 to 2015, the largest social change observed in Japan during this period took place in March 2011, the month of the Great East Japan Earthquake.

Suggested Citation

  • Takashi Kamihigashi & Kazuhiro Seki & Masahiko Shibamoto, 2017. "Measuring Social Change Using Text Data: A Simple Distributional Approach," Discussion Paper Series DP2017-16, Research Institute for Economics & Business Administration, Kobe University, revised Jul 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:kob:dpaper:dp2017-16
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    File URL: https://www.rieb.kobe-u.ac.jp/academic/ra/dp/English/DP2017-16.pdf
    File Function: Revised version, 2017
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Findley, David F, et al, 1998. "New Capabilities and Methods of the X-12-ARIMA Seasonal-Adjustment Program," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 16(2), pages 127-152, April.
    2. Findley, David F, et al, 1998. "New Capabilities and Methods of the X-12-ARIMA Seasonal-Adjustment Program: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 16(2), pages 169-177, April.
    3. Nino Antadze & Frances R. Westley, 2012. "Impact Metrics for Social Innovation: Barriers or Bridges to Radical Change?," Journal of Social Entrepreneurship, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 133-150, October.
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