Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Wisdom of crowds detects COVID-19 severity ahead of officially available data

Turiel, Jeremy, Fernandez-Reyes, Delmiro and Aste, Tomaso (2020) Wisdom of crowds detects COVID-19 severity ahead of officially available data. Financial Markets Group Discussion Papers (808). Systemic Risk Centre, The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK.

[img] Text (dp-99) - Published Version
Download (1MB)


During the unfolding of a crisis, it is crucial to determine its severity, yet access to reliable data is challenging. We investigate the relation between geolocated Tweet Intensity of initial COVID-19 related tweet at the beginning of the pandemic across Italian, Spanish and USA regions and mortality in the region a month later. We find significant proportionality between early social media reaction and the cumulative number of COVID-19 deaths almost a month later. Our findings suggest that ‘the crowds' perceived the risk correctly. This is one of the few examples where the ‘wisdom of crowds' can be quantified and applied in practice. This can be used to create real-time alert systems that could be of help for crisis-management and intervention, especially in developing countries. Such systems could contribute to inform fast-response policy making at early stages of a crisis.

Item Type: Monograph (Discussion Paper)
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2020 The Author(s)
Divisions: Systemic Risk Centre
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
JEL classification: D - Microeconomics > D7 - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making > D70 - General
I - Health, Education, and Welfare > I1 - Health > I10 - General
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2023 08:27
Last Modified: 16 Sep 2023 00:00

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics