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The interconnectedness of the economic content in the speeches of the US Presidents

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Document pages: 33 pages

Abstract: The speeches stated by influential politicians can have a decisive impact onthe future of a country. In particular, the economic content of such speechesaffects the economy of countries and their financial markets. For this reason,we examine a novel dataset containing the economic content of 951 speechesstated by 45 US Presidents from George Washington (April 1789) to Donald Trump(February 2017). In doing so, we use an economic glossary carried out by meansof text mining techniques. The goal of our study is to examine the structure ofsignificant interconnections within a network obtained from the economiccontent of presidential speeches. In such a network, nodes are represented bytalks and links by values of cosine similarity, the latter computed using theoccurrences of the economic terms in the speeches. The resulting networkdisplays a peculiar structure made up of a core (i.e. a set of highly centraland densely connected nodes) and a periphery (i.e. a set of non-central andsparsely connected nodes). The presence of different economic dictionariesemployed by the Presidents characterize the core-periphery structure. ThePresidents talks belonging to the network s core share the usage of generic(non-technical) economic locutions like "interest " or "trade ". While the use ofmore technical and less frequent terms characterizes the periphery (e.g. "yield " ). Furthermore, the speeches close in time share a common economicdictionary. These results together with the economics glossary usages duringthe US periods of boom and crisis provide unique insights on the economiccontent relationships among Presidents speeches.

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