A Cross-Country Analysis of Macroeconomic Responses to COVID-19 Pandemic Using Twitter Sentiments

30 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2022

See all articles by Zahra Nia

Zahra Nia

York University

Ali Ahmadi

Africa-Canada Artificial Intelligence and Data Innovation Consortium; K.N. Toosi University, Faculty of Computer Engineering

Nicola Luigi Bragazzi

University of Parma

Woldegebriel Assefa Woldegerima

York University

Bruce Mellado

University of the Witwatersrand

Jianhong Wu

York University - Laboratory for Industrial and Applied Mathematics; Africa-Canada Artificial Intelligence and Data Innovation Consortium

James Orbinski

York University

Ali Asgary

York University

Jude Dzevela Kong

Africa-Canada Artificial Intelligence and Data Innovation Consortium (ACADIC); University of Toronto

Date Written: January 5, 2022

Abstract

COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the global economy. In this paper, we use Phillips curve to compare and analyze the macroeconomics of three different countries with distinct income levels, namely, lower-middle (Nigeria), upper-middle (South Africa), and high (Canada) income. We aim to (1) find macroeconomic changes of the three countries during the pandemic compared to pre-pandemic time, (2) compare the countries in terms of response to COVID-19 economic crisis, and (3) compare their expected economic reaction to COVID-19 pandemic in the near future. An advantage to our work is that we analyze macroeconomics on a monthly basis to capture the shocks and rapid changes caused by on and off rounds of lockdowns. We use the social sentiments of the Twitter data to approximate the macroeconomic statistics. The results show that in the near future, the main concern for all the countries is high inflation rate. Moreover, South Africa and Nigeria need to deal with high unemployment rates. Our work demonstrates that data from country-specific Twitter can be used to better understand concerns and sentiments around the macroeconomic situations at the local level. This can potentially lead to more targeted and publicly acceptable policies based on social media content.

Keywords: Country income groups, Phillips curve, sentiment analysis, Twitter data

JEL Classification: C63, C32, C20, C10, E00

Suggested Citation

Nia, Zahra and Ahmadi, Ali and Bragazzi, Nicola Luigi and Woldegerima, Woldegebriel Assefa and Mellado, Bruce and Wu, Jianhong and Orbinski, James and Asgary, Ali and Kong, Jude Dzevela, A Cross-Country Analysis of Macroeconomic Responses to COVID-19 Pandemic Using Twitter Sentiments (January 5, 2022). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4001976 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4001976

Zahra Nia

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Ali Ahmadi

Africa-Canada Artificial Intelligence and Data Innovation Consortium ( email )

K.N. Toosi University, Faculty of Computer Engineering ( email )

Tehran
Iran

Nicola Luigi Bragazzi

University of Parma ( email )

Woldegebriel Assefa Woldegerima

York University

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Bruce Mellado

University of the Witwatersrand ( email )

1 Jan Smuts Avenue
Johannesburg, GA Gauteng 2000
South Africa

Jianhong Wu

York University - Laboratory for Industrial and Applied Mathematics ( email )

Canada

Africa-Canada Artificial Intelligence and Data Innovation Consortium ( email )

James Orbinski

York University

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Ali Asgary

York University ( email )

4700 Keele Street
Toronto, Ontario M3J 1P3
Canada

Jude Dzevela Kong (Contact Author)

Africa-Canada Artificial Intelligence and Data Innovation Consortium (ACADIC) ( email )

University of Toronto
Toronto, Ontario M5R 0A3
Canada

University of Toronto ( email )

105 St George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8
Canada

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