Robots, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data in the Macroeconomy

About this project

Project description

How do Robots, Artificial Intelligence and Big Data affect firm dynamics?
Over the last few decades, market economies are becoming increasingly disrupted by new technology adoptions: robots, artificial intelligence and use of big data to improve their efficiency and market share. As documented by Acemoglu and Restrepo (2018), for example, the stock of industrial robots in the United States and Western Europe has nearly quadrupled between the 1990s and the 2000s. Similarly, the production of information and communications technology (ICT) has experienced a dramatic increase and, as of 2015, United Nations has estimated that ICT contributes to over 6.5 % of global GDP.
The objective of this project is to understand how these aspects affect the macroeconomy and in particular the decisions made by businesses over their life-cycle.

These new technologies affect different sectors and members of the economy in different ways: while robots may improve our living standards as households, they may also displace ourselves as workers in the labor market. At the same time, the use of data by firms can improve efficiency but can also be used to substitute other inputs of production and in particular labour.

This research project aims at deepening our understanding of the adoption of automation technologies and use of data in the economy, both from a positive and from a normative perspective. From a positive perspective, our goal is to improve our understanding of how these new technologies are affecting decisions by businesses and how those influence the aggregate economy. On the normative side, this research project aims at studying the optimal response of government policy in the face of robotics and artificial intelligence innovations as well as the use of data. This should inform policymakers on how to best support the macroeconomy in the presence of robots, artificial intelligence and big data.

Main reference: Big Data and Firm Dynamics
By Maryam Farboodi, Roxana Mihet, Thomas Philippon, and Laura Veldkamp


Advance knowledge in the area of macroeconomics
Disseminate research findings via publications in peer-reviewed high-quality journals, seminar and conference presentations, and through the media
Provide a basis for applying for external funding (through the Australian Research Council, or through other agencies)
Shed light on ongoing policy discussions around the governments role in the face of technological innovation

Information for applicants

Essential capabilities

Students should have strong quantitative and analytical skills, as well a work ethic

Desireable capabilities

Some economics background is expected.

Expected qualifications (Course/Degrees etc.)

Bachelor with a high degree of achievement (e.g., first class Honours), or Masters level qualifications in the following (or related) subjects: – Economics – Finance – Statistics – Mathematics – Engineering.

Additional information for applicants

note: i-students must have own scholarship to apply (CSIR, UCG-NET, etc)

Project supervisors

Principal supervisors

UQ Supervisor

Professor Begoña Domínguez

School of Economics
IITD Supervisor

Dr Sourabh Paul

Department of Humanities and Social Science