Nikos Askitas: Health and Well-Being in the Crisis





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Published on Jul 3, 2015

This talk was recorded at Europe's first Computational Social Science conference at the University of Warwick in June 2014, hosted by the Data Science Lab at Warwick Business School (http://www.datasciencelab.co.uk).

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. We use 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.

BIOGRAPHY | Nikos Askitas is a Mathematician who has done research in topology (4-dimensional topology and classical knot theory) and whose current research interests span from the empirical i.e. the use of technology for socioeconomic research to the theoretical i.e. game theory and its applications to evolutionary theoretical biology and economics. Nikos is currently Head of Data and Technology at the Bonn based Institute for the Study of Labor. Nikos is a speaker of the German Data Infrastructure to the country’s Council for Social and Economic Data, he is the creator of a remote processing tool called JoSuA and the inventor of an annual European metadata conference, EDDI. Finally he is publishing a monthly business cycle leading indicator based on heavy truck toll data, called the Toll Index.


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