PROXYING FOR UNOBSERVABLE VARIABLES WITH INTERNET DOCUMENT-FREQUENCY

@inproceedings{Saiz2013PROXYINGFU,
  title={PROXYING FOR UNOBSERVABLE VARIABLES WITH INTERNET DOCUMENT-FREQUENCY},
  author={Albert Saiz and Uri Simonsohn},
  year={2013}
}
The internet contains billions of documents. We show that document frequencies in large decentralized textual databases can capture the cross-sectional variation in the occurrence frequencies of social phenomena. We characterize the econometric conditions under which such proxying is likely. We also propose using recently-introduced internet search volume indexes as proxies for fundamental locational traits, and discuss their advantages and limitations. We then successfully proxy for a number… CONTINUE READING

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