Estimating Policy Trajectories During the Financial Crisis

NLP Unshared Task in PoliInformatics 2014

5 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2014  

William P. Li

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)

David Larochelle

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society

Andrew W. Lo

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)

Date Written: June 26, 2014

Abstract

We apply text-matching techniques to trace the trajectory of policy ideas contained in four bills related to the Financial Crisis during the 110th (2007-08) and 111th (2009-10) Congresses. By identifying the first appearance of bill text, visualizing the results, and constructing metrics to quantify the congressional “consideration time” of a bill’s ideas, our analysis reveals that two of the four bills were dominated by ideas that were first introduced many months before their eventual passage, while the other two bills contained mostly new text and were truly novel responses to the Crisis. In addition, we also apply the method to find policy ideas related to the Financial Crisis that were not included in successful bills. We suggest possible applications by both researchers and open-government advocates.

Keywords: financial crisis, public policy, natural language processing, analytics, machine learning, data mining

JEL Classification: G18

Suggested Citation

Li, William P. and Larochelle, David and Lo, Andrew W., Estimating Policy Trajectories During the Financial Crisis (June 26, 2014). NLP Unshared Task in PoliInformatics 2014. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2447293

William P. Li (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) ( email )

77 Massachusetts Avenue
Room 32-337
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

HOME PAGE: http://people.csail.mit.edu/wli

David Larochelle

Harvard University - Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society ( email )

Harvard Law School
23 Everett, 2nd Floor
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Andrew W. Lo

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street
E62-618
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-0920 (Phone)
781 891-9783 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://web.mit.edu/alo/www

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL)

Stata Center
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

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