NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Hyunjin Kim

Harvard Business School
Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02163

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
Institutional Affiliation: Harvard University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2019Nowcasting the Local Economy: Using Yelp Data to Measure Economic Activity
with Edward L. Glaeser, Michael Luca
in Big Data for 21st Century Economic Statistics, Katharine G. Abraham, Ron S. Jarmin, Brian Moyer, and Matthew D. Shapiro
Can new data sources from online platforms help to measure local economic activity? Government datasets from agencies such as the U.S. Census Bureau provide the standard measures of local economic activity at the local level. However, these statistics typically appear only after multi-year lags, and the public-facing versions are aggregated to the county or ZIP code level. In contrast, crowdsourced data from online platforms such as Yelp are often contemporaneous and geographically finer than official government statistics. In this paper, we present evidence that Yelp data can complement government surveys by measuring economic activity in close to real time, at a granular level, and at almost any geographic scale. Changes in the number of businesses and restaurants reviewed on Yelp can pr...
August 2018Measuring Gentrification: Using Yelp Data to Quantify Neighborhood Change
with Edward L. Glaeser, Michael Luca: w24952
We demonstrate that data from digital platforms such as Yelp have the potential to improve our understanding of gentrification, both by providing data in close to real time (i.e. nowcasting and forecasting) and by providing additional context about how the local economy is changing. Combining Yelp and Census data, we find that gentrification, as measured by changes in the educational, age, and racial composition within a ZIP code, is strongly associated with increases in the numbers of grocery stores, cafes, restaurants, and bars, with little evidence of crowd-out of other categories of businesses. We also find that changes in the local business landscape is a leading indicator of housing price changes, and that the entry of Starbucks (and coffee shops more generally) into a neighborhood p...
November 2017Nowcasting the Local Economy: Using Yelp Data to Measure Economic Activity
with Edward L. Glaeser, Michael Luca: w24010
Can new data sources from online platforms help to measure local economic activity? Government datasets from agencies such as the U.S. Census Bureau provide the standard measures of local economic activity at the local level. However, these statistics typically appear only after multi-year lags, and the public-facing versions are aggregated to the county or ZIP code level. In contrast, crowdsourced data from online platforms such as Yelp are often contemporaneous and geographically finer than official government statistics. In this paper, we present evidence that Yelp data can complement government surveys by measuring economic activity in close to real time, at a granular level, and at almost any geographic scale. Changes in the number of businesses and restaurants reviewed on Yelp can p...
 
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