Working Paper No- 446
The use of big data and machine learning techniques is now very common in many spheres and there is growing popularity of these approaches in macroeconomic forecasting as well. Is big data and machine learning really useful in the prediction of macroeconomic outcomes? Are they superior in performance compared to their traditional counterparts? What are the tradeoffs that forecasters need to keep in mind, and what are the steps they need to take to use these resources effectively? We carry out a critical analysis of the existing literature in order to answer these questions. Our analysis suggests that the answer to most of these questions are nuanced, conditional on a number of factors identified in the study.
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Institute of Economic Growth, University Enclave, University of Delhi (North Campus),
Delhi 110 007, India