Exploring the relationship between macroeconomic conditions and problem drinking as captured by Google searches in the US

Frijters, Paul, Johnston, David W., Lordan, Grace and Shields, Michael A. (2013) Exploring the relationship between macroeconomic conditions and problem drinking as captured by Google searches in the US. Social Science and Medicine, 84 61-68. doi:10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.01.028

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Author Frijters, Paul
Johnston, David W.
Lordan, Grace
Shields, Michael A.
Title Exploring the relationship between macroeconomic conditions and problem drinking as captured by Google searches in the US
Journal name Social Science and Medicine   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0277-9536
1873-5347
Publication date 2013-05
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.socscimed.2013.01.028
Open Access Status
Volume 84
Start page 61
End page 68
Total pages 8
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford, United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract There is considerable policy interest in the impact of macroeconomic conditions on health-related behaviours and outcomes. This paper sheds new light on this issue by exploring the relationship between macroeconomic conditions and an indicator of problem drinking derived from state-level data on alcoholism-related Google searches conducted in the US over the period 2004e2011.We find the current recessionary period coincided with an almost 20% increase in alcoholism-related searches. Controlling for state and time-effects, a 5% rise in unemployment is followed in the next 12 months by an approximate 15% increase in searches. The use of Internet searches to inform on health-related behaviours and outcomes is in its infancy; but we suggest that the data provides important real-time information for policy-makers and can help to overcome the under-reporting in surveys of sensitive information.
Keyword United States
Recession
Alcoholism
Global financial crisis
Google insights
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Economics Publications
 
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 12 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Sun, 09 Jun 2013, 00:29:23 EST by System User on behalf of School of Economics