Archive for August 13th, 2013

India’s Balance of Payments Situation: 1991 and Now

August 13, 2013

EPW researchers have this short note comparing 1991 with current times

In sum, the following can be said:


How Twitter can help predict an election..

August 13, 2013

Tyler Cowen points to this interesting article which talks about this paper which tracks Tweets to predict election results.

It is by these researchers from Indian Univ- Joseph DiGrazia, Karissa McKelvey, Johan Bollen and Fabio Rojas of Indiana University:

Is social media a valid indicator of political behavior? We answer this question using a random sample of 537,231,508 tweets from August 1 to November 1, 2010 and data from 406 competitive U.S. congressional elections provided by the Federal Election Commission. Our results show that the percentage of Republican-candidate name mentions correlates with the Republican vote margin in the subsequent election. This finding persists even when controlling for incumbency, district partisanship, media coverage of the race, time, and demographic variables such as the district’s racial and gender composition. With over 500 million active users in 2012, Twitter now represents a new frontier for the study of human behavior. This research provides a framework for incorporating this emerging medium into the computational social science toolkit.


Fabio Rojas further points this will lead to decline in polling industry:

Digital democracy is here. We no longer passively watch our leaders on television and register our opinions on Election Day. Modern politics happens when somebody comments on Twitter or links to a campaign through Facebook. In our hyper-networked world, anyone can say anything, and it can be read by millions.

This new world will undermine the polling industry. For nearly a century, conventional wisdom has argued that we can only truly know what the public thinks about an issue if we survey a random sample of adults. An entire industry is built on this view. Nearly every serious political campaign in the United States spends thousands, even millions, of dollars hiring campaign consultants who conduct these polls and interpret the results.

Digital democracy will put these campaign professionals out of work. New research in computer science, sociology and political science shows that data extracted from social media platforms yield accurate measurements of public opinion. It turns out that what people say on Twitter or Facebook is a very good indicator of how they will vote.

Hmm. something to watch out for..impact of social networks has just scratched the surface till now..

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