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Tohid Atashbar and Rui Aruhan Shi
The application of Deep Reinforcement Learning (DRL) in economics has been an area of active research in recent years. A number of recent works have shown how deep reinforcement learning can be used to study a variety of economic problems, including optimal policy-making, game theory, and bounded rationality. In this paper, after a theoretical introduction to deep reinforcement learning and various DRL algorithms, we provide an overview of the literature on deep reinforcement learning in economics, with a focus on the main applications of deep reinforcement learning in macromodeling. Then, we analyze the potentials and limitations of deep reinforcement learning in macroeconomics and identify a number of issues that need to be addressed in order for deep reinforcement learning to be more widely used in macro modeling.
Mr. Anil Ari, Gabor Pula, and Liyang Sun
The qualitative and granular nature of most structural indicators and the variety in data sources poses difficulties for consistent cross-country assessments and empirical analysis. We overcome these issues by using a machine learning approach (the partial least squares method) to combine a broad set of cross-country structural indicators into a small number of synthetic scores which correspond to key structural areas, and which are suitable for consistent quantitative comparisons across countries and time. With this newly constructed dataset of synthetic structural scores in 126 countries between 2000-2019, we establish stylized facts about structural gaps and reforms, and analyze the impact of reforms targeting different structural areas on economic growth. Our findings suggest that structural reforms in the area of product, labor and financial markets as well as the legal system have a significant impact on economic growth in a 5-year horizon, with one standard deviation improvement in one of these reform areas raising cumulative 5-year growth by 2 to 6 percent. We also find synergies between different structural areas, in particular between product and labor market reforms.
Mr. Anil Ari, Gabor Pula, and Liyang Sun

The qualitative and granular nature of most structural indicators and the variety in data sources poses difficulties for consistent cross-country assessments and empirical analysis. We overcome these issues by using a machine learning approach (the partial least squares method) to combine a broad set of cross-country structural indicators into a small number of synthetic scores which correspond to key structural areas, and which are suitable for consistent quantitative comparisons across countries and time. With this newly constructed dataset of synthetic structural scores in 126 countries between 2000-2019, we establish stylized facts about structural gaps and reforms, and analyze the impact of reforms targeting different structural areas on economic growth. Our findings suggest that structural reforms in the area of product, labor and financial markets as well as the legal system have a significant impact on economic growth in a 5-year horizon, with one standard deviation improvement in one of these reform areas raising cumulative 5-year growth by 2 to 6 percent. We also find synergies between different structural areas, in particular between product and labor market reforms.

Yang Liu, Di Yang, and Mr. Yunhui Zhao
Inflation has been rising during the pandemic against supply chain disruptions and a multi-year boom in global owner-occupied house prices. We present some stylized facts pointing to house prices as a leading indicator of headline inflation in the U.S. and eight other major economies with fast-rising house prices. We then apply machine learning methods to forecast inflation in two housing components (rent and owner-occupied housing cost) of the headline inflation and draw tentative inferences about inflationary impact. Our results suggest that for most of these countries, the housing components could have a relatively large and sustained contribution to headline inflation, as inflation is just starting to reflect the higher house prices. Methodologically, for the vast majority of countries we analyze, machine-learning models outperform the VAR model, suggesting some potential value for incorporating such models into inflation forecasting.