The Data Revolution and Economic Analysis

30 Pages Posted: 11 May 2013 Last revised: 2 Apr 2015

See all articles by Liran Einav

Liran Einav

Stanford University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Jonathan Levin

Stanford University - Department of Economics; Stanford Graduate School of Business; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: May 2013

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Einav, Liran and Levin, Jonathan D., The Data Revolution and Economic Analysis (May 2013). NBER Working Paper No. w19035. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2263618

Liran Einav (Contact Author)

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

Landau Economics Building
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6072
United States
650-723-3704 (Phone)
928-223-4973 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Jonathan D. Levin

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

Landau Economics Building
579 Serra Mall
Stanford, CA 94305-6072
United States

Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )

655 Knight Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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