The Data Revolution and Economic Analysis
Chapter in NBER book Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 14 (2014), Josh Lerner and Scott Stern, editors (p. 1 - 24)
Many believe that “big data” will transform business, government and other aspects of the economy. In this article we discuss how new data may impact economic policy and economic research. Large-scale administrative datasets and proprietary private sector data can greatly improve the way we measure, track and describe economic activity. They also can enable novel research designs that allow researchers to trace the consequences of different events or policies. We outline some of the challenges in accessing and making use of these data. We also consider whether the big data predictive modeling tools that have emerged in statistics and computer science may prove useful in economics.
This paper was revised on July 27, 2016
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1086/674019This chapter first appeared as NBER working paper w19035, The Data Revolution and Economic Analysis, Liran Einav, Jonathan D. Levin
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