NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Matt Taddy

Microsoft Research New England
1 Memorial Drive
Cambridge MA 02142

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

March 2017Text as Data
with Matthew Gentzkow, Bryan T. Kelly: w23276
An ever increasing share of human interaction, communication, and culture is recorded as digital text. We provide an introduction to the use of text as an input to economic research. We discuss the features that make text different from other forms of data, offer a practical overview of relevant statistical methods, and survey a variety of applications.
July 2016Measuring Polarization in High-Dimensional Data: Method and Application to Congressional Speech
with Matthew Gentzkow, Jesse M. Shapiro: w22423
We study trends in the partisanship of congressional speech from 1873 to 2016. We define partisanship to be the ease with which an observer could infer a congressperson’s party from a fixed amount of speech, and we estimate it using a structural choice model and methods from machine learning. Our method corrects a severe finite-sample bias that we show arises with standard estimators. The results reveal that partisanship is far greater in recent years than in the past, and that it increased sharply in the early 1990s after remaining low and relatively constant over the preceding century. Our method is applicable to the study of high-dimensional choices in many domains, and we illustrate its broader utility with an application to residential segregation.
 
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