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In Search of Information : Use of Google Trends' Data to Narrow Information Gaps for Low-income Developing Countries

Author: Futoshi Narita; IMF e-Library - York University.
Publisher: Washington, D.C. : International Monetary Fund, 2018.
Series: IMF Working Papers; Working Paper, no. 18/286.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : International government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Timely data availability is a long-standing challenge in policy-making and analysis for low-income developing countries. This paper explores the use of Google Trends' data to narrow such information gaps and finds that online search frequencies about a country significantly correlate with macroeconomic variables (e.g., real GDP, inflation, capital flows), conditional on other covariates. The correlation with real  Read more...
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Additional Physical Format: Print Version:
Narita, Futoshi.
In Search of Information: Use of Google Trends' Data to Narrow Information Gaps for Low-income Developing Countries.
Washington, D.C. : International Monetary Fund,2018
Material Type: Document, Government publication, International government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Futoshi Narita; IMF e-Library - York University.
ISBN: 1484390172 9781484390177
OCLC Number: 1084641206
Description: 1 online resource (51 pages)
Series Title: IMF Working Papers; Working Paper, no. 18/286.
Responsibility: Futoshi Narita.

Abstract:

Timely data availability is a long-standing challenge in policy-making and analysis for low-income developing countries. This paper explores the use of Google Trends' data to narrow such information gaps and finds that online search frequencies about a country significantly correlate with macroeconomic variables (e.g., real GDP, inflation, capital flows), conditional on other covariates. The correlation with real GDP is stronger than that of nighttime lights, whereas the opposite is found for emerging market economies. The search frequencies also improve out-of-sample forecasting performance albeit slightly, demonstrating their potential to facilitate timely assessments of economic conditions in low-income developing countries.

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