Computers and Economics
Progress, Problems and Prospects
Increased computing capacity and flexibility have stimulated and shaped the development of modern economics by permitting formal theory to be applied to large databases. The result has been the growth of econometrics and a much wider range of economic analyses, including interindustry analysis, regional economics, public finance and governmental decisionmaking, the development of macroeconomic models for large-scale economic forecasts and simulations, and analysis of economic aspects of public policy issues, especially those pertaining to education, health, and poverty. Despite the dramatic growth in the use of computers in economic analyses, some major economic problems unamenable to computational methods will remain unresolved — e.g., "fine-tuning" of price stability, employment, and production growth. Other problems, relating especially to methodological issues in economics, have been aggravated by the more extensive application of computers. None of these problems is new, however, nor attributable to computer use in itself.