Economics, Fairness and Algorithmic Bias
In preparation for The Journal of Economic Perspectives
65 Pages Posted: 4 Apr 2019 Last revised: 9 Oct 2019
Date Written: March 27, 2019
We develop an economic perspective on algorithmic fairness. Algorithmic bias and fairness issues are appearing in an increasing variety of economic research literatures. Our perspective draws from obvious connections to the economics of discrimination, crime, personnel and technological innovation; as well as less obvious connections to environmental economics, product safety regulation, behavioral economics and economics of information. We survey the small but growing literature in economics that directly examines this topic theoretically and empirically. Algorithms are not only growing in social impact, but also have attractive measurement properties that ease challenges for research economists. We conclude by discussing economic policy implications and future research directions.
Keywords: economics, algorithms, bias, fairness
JEL Classification: J7, J16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation