Artificial Intelligence in the Field of Economics (2021)

The history of AI in economics is long and winding, much the same as theevolving field of AI itself. Economists have engaged with AI since its beginnings, albeit in varying degrees and with changing focus across time and places. In this study, we have explored the diffusion of AI and different AI methods (e.g., machine learning, deep learning, neur al networks, expert systems, knowledge- based systems) through and within economic subfields, taking a scientometrics approach. In particular, we centre our accompanying discussion of AI in economics around the problems of economic calculation and social planning as proposed by Hayek. To map the history of AI within and between economic sub- fields, we construct two datasets containing bibliometrics information of economics papers based on search query results from the Scopus database and the EconPapers (and IDEAs/RePEc) repository. We present descriptive results that map the use and discussion of AI in economics over time, place, and subfield. In doing so, we also characterise the authors and affiliations of those engaging with AI in economics. Additionally, we find positive correlations between quality of institutional affiliation and engagement with or focus on AI in economics and negative correlations between the Human Development Index and share of learning-based AI papers.

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Bickley Steve J., Chan Ho Fai, Torgler Benno