Computers and Economics

Progress, Problems and Prospects

by Charles Wolf, Jr., John H. Enns


Full Document

FormatFile SizeNotes
PDF file 2.1 MB

Use Adobe Acrobat Reader version 10 or higher for the best experience.


Purchase Print Copy

 FormatList Price Price
Add to Cart Paperback61 pages $23.00 $18.40 20% Web Discount

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.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Paper series. The paper was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 2003 that captured speeches, memorials, and derivative research, usually prepared on authors' own time and meant to be the scholarly or scientific contribution of individual authors to their professional fields. Papers were less formal than reports and did not require rigorous peer review.

Permission is given to duplicate this electronic document for personal use only, as long as it is unaltered and complete. Copies may not be duplicated for commercial purposes. Unauthorized posting of RAND PDFs to a non-RAND Web site is prohibited. RAND PDFs are protected under copyright law. For information on reprint and linking permissions, please visit the RAND Permissions page.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.