Tuesday, May 14, 2013

big data and economic research

Liran Einav and Jonathan D. Levin highlight how "big data" could change economic research. Being a regular data cruncher myself, this is a welcome contribution as (applied micro-)economists have been skilled in the use of large data for quite some time.

Some highlights:
  • "Government administrative data are almost certainly under-utilized, both by government agencies and, because of limited and restricted access, by researchers" [my emphasis!]--hear, hear!
  • "Many government agencies are increasingly smart about using data analytics to improve their operations and services. However, most agencies almost surely lag behind"...

For all my students, this is good news---quantitative skills and analytical minds will be in demand, probably increasingly so, whether you'll be working in a private firm, in the public administration or as an academic.

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