May 17, 2017

How your social network can predict your wealth

Luca Bruno / AP

In a new study, researchers were able to predict a person's economic status from their social network — the greater the number and diversity of connections, the greater the likelihood someone is wealthy.

What it means: Besides predicting economic status, author Hernan Makse said the data may indicate how a person is likely to react to issues and could be useful in maximizing the effects of large-scale economic stimulus policies. "For instance, the network of ties not only affect your economic status," Makse told Axios, "but also whether you are obese, you smoke, you are happy or you are married to the right person…The probability of all these events depends on your circle of influence."

The experiment: Makse and his team analyzed two datasets from Mexico: about 110 million phone calls across the country over three months and banking information from 500,000 people to determine their personal economic status (as measured by their credit card limit).

The results: Individuals in the top 1% of the economic stratum had a high location and influence in their social network compared with those in the bottom 10%.

Next step: The study better predicts economic status of older people than younger ones, so Ehsan Kazemi, a postdoctoral research fellow at Yale University who wasn't involved in the research, says they could follow up with the younger set in a few years to see if the economic prediction is correct.

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Trump signs $2 trillion relief bill as U.S. coronavirus case count tops 100,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

President Trump signed a $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief package on Friday, as infections in the U.S. topped 100,000 and more cities experience spikes of the novel coronavirus.

The big picture: The U.S. has the most COVID-19 cases in the world, exceeding China and Italy, per data from Johns Hopkins. A second wave of American cities, including Boston, Detroit, New Orleans and Philadelphia, are reporting influxes of cases.

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Coronavirus updates: Italy records deadliest day with nearly 1,000 dead

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens and confirmed plus presumptive cases from the CDC

Italy on Friday reported 969 COVID-19 deaths over a 24-hour period, marking the deadliest single-day for the country since the global outbreak began, according to data from the Health Ministry.

The big picture: The U.S. now leads the world in confirmed coronavirus cases, as the number of global cases nears 600,000. Governments around the world are trying to curb the medical and financial fallout of COVID-19, as infections surge across Europe and the U.S.

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 595,800 — Total deaths: 27,324 — Total recoveries: 131,006.
  2. U.S.: Leads the world in cases. Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 103,942 — Total deaths: 1,689 — Total recoveries: 870.
  3. Federal government latest: President Trump signed the $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill to provide businesses and U.S. workers economic relief.
  4. State updates: Nearly 92% of cities do not have adequate medical supplies — New York is trying to nearly triple its hospital capacity in less than a month.
  5. World updates: Italy reported 969 coronavirus deaths on Friday, the country's deadliest day.
  6. Business latest: President Trump authorized the use of the Defense Production Act to direct General Motors to build ventilators for those affected by COVID-19. White House trade adviser Peter Navarro has been appointed to enforce the act.
  7. 🏰 1 Disney thing: Both Disney World and Disneyland theme parks in the U.S. are closed until further notice.
  8. What should I do? Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancing.
  9. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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