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Breaking the Wall of Economic Uncertainty [electronic resource]: How Online Data Can Help Us Understand the Economy

Falling Walls Foundation
Video; Computer Resource; Online Video; Online
After traditional economic reports demonstrated their limits in predicting the recession that started in 2007, central banks began to seek out new real-time economic indicators. Inspired by the work of Google's chief economist and University of California, Berkeley, emeritus professor Hal Varian, central banks worldwide now study whether online search volumes track trends in the economies they oversee. While developing a new website reporting how often users searched for certain keywords, Varian demonstrated how data reported on the Google Insights for Search service improved forecasts of U.S. auto and home sales and retail spending. In the past, central banks typically set interest rates based on economic information delayed by several weeks. Thanks to the Web, data is now available one to three days after users perform searches - a time lapse that could make the difference between a slowdown and a recession.
Release Date
Run Time
12 min.
12 & up
  • Encoded with permission for digital streaming by Films Media Group on August 10, 2013.
  • Films on Demand is distributed by Films Media Group for Films for the Humanities & Sciences, Cambridge Educational, Meridian Education, and Shopware.
  • Part of the Falling Walls conference.
Variant Title
Economic Uncertainty
How Online Data Can Help Us Understand the Economy
  • Google Trends Demonstration (2:31)
  • Graphing Unemployment and Initial Claims (1:09)
  • Nowcasting (2:47)
  • Forecasting With Query Data (2:20)
  • Data Mining (2:11)
  • Credits: Breaking the Wall of Economic Uncertainty: How Online Data Can Help Us Understand the Economy (0:00)
New York, N.Y. : Films Media Group, [2013], c2012.
Publisher no.
53585 Films Media Group
Access Restriction
Access requires authentication through Films on Demand.
1 streaming video file (12 min.) : sd., col.
Mode of access: Internet.
System requirements: FOD playback platform.
Technical Details
  • Access in Virgo Classic
  • Staff View