Mobile Phone Call Data as a Regional Socio-Economic Proxy Indicator
Nurminen, Jukka K.
|Source||PLoS ONE , v. 10, (4), April 2015|
|Summary||The advent of publishing anonymized call detail records opens the door for temporal and spatial human dynamics studies. Such studies, besides being useful for creating universal models for mobility patterns, could be also used for creating new socio-economic proxy indicators that will not rely only on the local or state institutions. In this paper, from the frequency of calls at different times of the day, in different small regional units (sub-prefectures) in Cote d'Ivoire, we infer users' home and work sub-prefectures. This division of users enables us to analyze different mobility and calling patterns for the different regions. We then compare how those patterns correlate to the data from other sources, such as: news for particular events in the given period, census data, economic activity, poverty index, power plants and energy grid data. Our results show high correlation in many of the cases revealing the diversity of socio-economic insights that can be inferred using only mobile phone call data. The methods and the results may be particularly relevant to policy-makers engaged in poverty reduction initiatives as they can provide an affordable tool in the context of resource-constrained developing economies, such as Côte d'Ivoire's.|
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