High-Quality Data for Better Quality of Life
Erik Snowberg plans to make The University of British Columbia into the world leader in empirical political economy research. The Canada Excellence Research Chair in Data-Intensive Methods in Economics at the university is using innovative data to understand the effects of politics and policy on the economy. Snowberg and his team’s research will explore how business and environmental groups can collaborate with government to simultaneously improve economic productivity and quality of life.
Recent years have seen an explosion of the types of data produced and stored by companies, governments and private citizens. This data, and the tools to analyze it, could revolutionize the historically macro-level, theoretical field of political economy, into a data-driven, micro-level enterprise.
This new path for political economy promises to turn it into a field that can understand economics and politics at the level at which individuals, companies, and politicians experience them. The research behind this new direction will also provide governments, corporations and societies with the tools they need to make better, politically feasible policies.
Snowberg and his research team will be based at The University of British Columbia’s new Centre for Innovative Data in Economics (CIDE). The work at CIDE will build on the university’s already considerable expertise in labour economics, international trade, industrial organization and political economy.
As Canada Excellence Research Chair, Snowberg will oversee CIDE’s development, including that of its data holdings. The Chair position and CIDE will help create a "hub of knowledge" for attracting and retaining top researchers from around the world, and for training highly qualified personnel with the skills to analyze massive datasets in order to support practice and policy decisions.