The Economics of Artificial IntelligenceAn Agenda

The Economics of Artificial IntelligenceAn Agenda

Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb

Print publication date: 2020

ISBN: 9780226613338

Publisher: University of Chicago Press


Recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) highlight its potential to affect productivity, growth, inequality, market power, innovation, and employment. In September 2017, the National Bureau of Economic Research held its first conference on the Economics of AI in Toronto. The purpose of the conference and associated volume is to set the research agenda for economists working on AI. The focus of the volume is on the economic impact of machine learning, a branch of computational statistics that has driven the recent excitement around AI. The volume also highlights key questions on the economic impact of robotics and automation, as well as the potential economic consequences of a still-hypothetical artificial general intelligence. The volume covers four broad themes: AI as a general purpose technology; the relationship between AI, growth, jobs, and inequality; regulatory responses to changes brought on by AI; and the effects of AI on the way economic research is conducted. In highlighting these themes, the volume provides several frameworks for understanding the economic impact of AI. In doing so, it identifies a number of key open research questions in a variety of research areas including productivity, growth, decision-making, jobs, inequality, market structure, privacy, trade, liability, political economy, econometrics, behavioral economics, and innovation.

Table of Contents


Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb

I AI as a GPT

1 Artificial Intelligence and the Modern Productivity Paradox

Erik Brynjolfsson, Daniel Rock, and Chad Syverson

3 Prediction, Judgment, and Complexity

Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans, and Avi Goldfarb

4 The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Innovation

Iain M. Cockburn, Rebecca Henderson, and Scott Stern

5 Finding Needles in Haystacks

Ajay Agrawal, John McHale, and Alexander Oettl

II Growth, Jobs, and Inequality

8 Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and Work

Daron Acemoglu and Pascual Restrepo

9 Artificial Intelligence and Economic Growth

Philippe Aghion, Benjamin F. Jones, and Charles I. Jones

III Machine Learning and Regulation

19 Artificial Intelligence and International Trade

Avi Goldfarb and Daniel Trefler

IV Machine Learning and Economics