Professor Lilia Maliar Awarded $308,000 NSF Grant for Research on Applying Artificial Intelligence to Economic Models

Lilia Maliar (Photo courtesy of Maliar)

Professor Lilia Maliar (GC/Economics) was awarded a $308,000, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for her research on using artificial intelligence to analyze complex and highly dimensional economic models.
Maliar is developing a deep learning framework that makes it possible to cast a broad class of economic models into a form that is suitable for intelligent machines — an approach that opens a new path in economic research. “AI has many impressive applications like image and speech recognition, composing music, and playing chess and Go” Maliar says. “We will use AI to solve those difficult models that economists want but cannot solve yet. We are developing an interface that makes it possible to cast economic models into the Google’s TensorFlow platform, the same software that is used by data scientists for image and speech recognition.” The technologies Maliar develops and AI software will be made publicly available, she says.
A potential application of the proposed AI framework is macroeconomic models for the analysis of the COVID-19 pandemic, Maliar says. “Models of pandemics are far more complex than conventional economic models as they include both macroeconomic and epidemiological parts,” she says. “These models can be used to design optimal economic policies that facilitate the economic recovery, while ameliorating the cost of the pandemic for society and in particular for underprivileged groups.”
Maliar’s research on numerical methods for dynamic economic models has appeared in numerous economic journals, and she currently serves as an associate editor for the Quantitative Economics journal of the Econometric Society. She advised the Bank of Canada on their large-scale ToTEM macroeconomic model for projection and policy analysis, and she is a research fellow at the Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR).

Submitted on: JUN 29, 2020

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