"What determines American geographic curiosity"
Abstract: Americans are often blasted by Europeans because of their inability to put a certain country on a world map. As Americans do better in science and mathematics than Germans or Italians for example (OECD), this lack of knowledge certainly is not straight dumbness. In this paper we study the determinants of their geographic curiosity using data from Google trends, which allows us to measure the number of times a country, or a main city, has been googled over the last 12 months. We find that the top 10 tourist destinations are on average googled 15 times more than the average country. Gravity determinants such as being landlocked, economically remote or an island have no impact; and neither does GDP nor GDP per capita. Military or CIA involvement increases searches by 50%. Finally, we find that more important export markets are 20 more googled while major import partners are 50 more googled.