Big data, economics, and social science

This event took place on Wednesday 20 June 2018. We hosted Professor Julia Lane of New York University, together with the Public Policy Institute, the Department of Statistics, and the New Zealand Association of Economists. Her visit was funded by a University of Auckland Distinguished Visitor's Award.

Professor Julia Lane, NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

The advent of big data means that the time has come for change in the way in which we collect and use official statistics. However, that change needs to be effected in a thoughtful and careful way so that we don’t jump out of the frying pan into the fire. This presentation describes what might be done and how to get there.

Julia Lane is a Professor at NYU Wagner and the NYU Centre for Urban Science and Progress, and an NYU Provostial Fellow for Innovation Analytics. Her research focuses on big data’s role in government and public policy. Prior to this, Dr Lane initiated and led the creation and permanent establishment of the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Programme at the US Census Bureau. This programme began as a small two-year ASA Census Bureau fellowship and evolved into the first large-scale linked employer-employee data set in the US. It is now a permanent Census Bureau programme. Dr Lane has published over 70 articles in leading economics journals and authored and edited numerous books. She has received more than $US75 million in grants from foundations, government agencies, and international organisations, and was the recipient of the 2014 Julius Shiskin award and the 2014 Roger Herriot award.

You can now see and hear a recording of this public lecture.

Julia also spoke on the topic earlier in the day on Radio New Zealand National's Nine to Noon.