Machine Learning in Economics… A Fad?

Over the holiday weekend (in the United States) The Economist ran an article with the title: “Economists are Prone to Fads, and the Latest is Machine Learning“. As I am currently taking a class on ‘Big Data for Economists’, this article peaked my interest. The following chart was shown to visualize some recent trends within economics, but a fad implies something has short-term enthusiasm that ultimately dies off. This chart doesn’t show any decay in the use (erm… mentions in NBER working-paper abstracts) of these methodological innovations. In fact, all of these methods – besides DSGE, are continuing to trend upwards. So are these methods a fad or are they here to stay?

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