This study analyzes the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on subjective well-being as measured through Twitter for the countries of Japan and Italy. In the first nine months of 2020, the Twitter indicators dropped by 11.7% for Italy and 8.3% for Japan compared to the last two months of 2019, and even more compared to their historical means. To understand what affected the Twitter mood so strongly, the study considers a pool of potential factors including: climate and air quality data, number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, Facebook COVID-19 and flu-like symptoms global survey data, coronavirus-related Google search data, policy intervention measures, human mobility data, macro economic variables, as well as health and stress proxy variables. This study proposes a framework to analyse and assess the relative impact of these external factors on the dynamic of Twitter mood and further implements a structural model to describe the underlying concept of subjective well-being. It turns out that prolonged mobility restrictions, flu and Covid-like symptoms, economic uncertainty and low levels of quality in social interactions have a negative impact on well-being.
The COVID-19 pandemic has created a sudden need for a wider uptake of home-based telework as means of sustaining the production. Generally, teleworking arrangements impact directly worker’s efficiency and motivation. The direction of this impact, however, depends on the balance between positive effects of teleworking (e.g. increased flexibility and autonomy) and its downsides (e.g. blurring boundaries between private and work life). Moreover, these effects of teleworking can be amplified in case of vulnerable groups of workers, such as women. The first step in understanding the implications of teleworking on women is to have timely information on the extent of teleworking by age and gender. In the absence of timely official statistics, in this paper we propose a method for nowcasting the teleworking trends by age and gender for 20 Italian regions using mobile network operators (MNO) data. The method is developed and validated using MNO data together with the Italian quarterly Labour Force Survey. Our results confirm that the MNO data have the potential to be used as a tool for monitoring gender and age differences in teleworking patterns. This tool becomes even more important today as it could support the adequate gender mainstreaming in the ‘Next Generation EU’ recovery plan and help to manage related social impacts of COVID-19 through policymaking.