Surveying Generative AI's Economic Expectations

29 Pages Posted: 9 May 2023 Last revised: 15 May 2023

Date Written: February 16, 2023

Abstract

I introduce a survey of economic expectations formed by querying a large language model (LLM)’s expectations of various financial and macroeconomic variables based on a sample of news articles from the Wall Street Journal between 1984 and 2021. I find the resulting expectations closely match existing surveys including the Survey of Professional Forecasters (SPF), the American Association of Individual Investors, and the Duke CFO Survey. Importantly, I document that LLM based expectations match many of the deviations from full-information rational expectations exhibited in these existing survey series. The LLM’s macroeconomic expectations exhibit under reaction commonly found in consensus SPF forecasts. Additionally, its return expectations are extrapolative, disconnected from objective measures of expected returns, and negatively correlated with future realized returns. Finally, using a sample of articles outside of the LLM’s training period I find that the correlation with existing survey measures persists – indicating these results do not reflect memorization but generalization on the part of the LLM. My results provide evidence for the potential of LLMs to help us better understand human beliefs and navigate possible models of nonrational expectations.

Keywords: Expectations, beliefs, behavioral economics, artificial intelligence, GPT, ChatGPT, natural language processing

JEL Classification: C53, C58, C83, C99, E17, E27, E37, E70, E71, G17, G40, G41

Suggested Citation

Bybee, Leland, Surveying Generative AI's Economic Expectations (February 16, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4430515 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4430515

Leland Bybee (Contact Author)

Yale School of Management ( email )

135 Prospect Street
P.O. Box 208200
New Haven, CT 06520-8200
United States

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