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Co-ordination of current projects: Philipp Piribauer (2 hits)

Current research studies (work in progress)
Study by: Austrian Institute of Economic Research – Vienna University of Technology – Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration
Commissioned by: Austrian Science Fund
Recent years have seen a tremendous surge in the availability of socioeconomic data characterised by vast complexity and high dimensionality. However, prevalent methods employed to inform practitioners and policy makers are still focused on small to medium-scale datasets. Consequently, crucial transmission channels are easily overlooked and the corresponding inference often suffers from omitted variable bias. This calls for novel methods which enable researchers to fully exploit the ever increasing amount of data.In this project, we aim to investigate how the largely separate research streams of Bayesian econometrics, statistical model checking, and machine learning can be combined and integrated to create innovative and powerful tools for the analysis of big data in economics and other social sciences. Thereby, we pay special attention to properly incorporating relevant sources of uncertainty. Albeit crucial for thorough empirical analyses, this aspect is often overlooked in traditional machine learning techniques which have mainly been centered on producing point forecasts for key quantities of interest only. In contrast, Bayesian statistics and econometrics are based on designing algorithms to carry out exact posterior inference which in turn allows for density forecasts. Our contributions are twofold: From a methodological perspective, we develop cutting-edge methods that enable fully probabilistic inference of dynamic models in vast dimensions. In terms of empirical advances, we apply these methods to highly complex datasets that comprise situations where either the number of observations, the number of potential time series and/or the number of variables included is large. More specifically, empirical applications center on four topical issues in the realm of sustainable development and socioeconomic policy to answer questions such as: How do market and economic uncertainty affect income inequality? What are the relationships between greenhouse gas emissions and macroeconomic indicators? Which role do tweets play in the evolution of the prices of crypto-currencies? Which policy measures are most effective to foster sustainable urban mobility patterns?
Current research studies (work in progress)
Supported by: Anniversary Fund of the Oesterreichische Nationalbank
Study by: International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis – Austrian Institute of Economic Research
The project aims to shed light on the complex relationship between regional land-use change and economic activity. While previous research predominantly focussed on either land-use or economic growth processes independently, the proposed project aims to put forward a joint modelling framework as a means to capturing the interdependence of the relationship between land-use change and economic activity. The modelling framework contains several salient key features and properties. In addition to the simultaneous treatment of land-use change and economic activity, the framework also aims at controlling for spatial dependence in both quantities of interest and potential over-parameterisation in a flexible way. In a first work package we aim to derive information on land-use change patterns from a novel data set based on satellite data and provide an analysis of the simultaneous relationship between land-use change and economic growth on a sub-national level across OECD countries. A second work package utilises the modelling framework for analysing the relationship of economic activity and land-use change within a country, based on granular socioeconomic raster data in Austria.