Generative AI for Economic Research: Use Cases and Implications for Economists (Anton KorinekĀ„, September 2023)


Generative AI, in particular large language models (LLMs) such as ChatGPT,
has the potential to revolutionize research. I describe dozens of use cases along six
domains in which LLMs are starting to become useful as both research assistants
and tutors: ideation and feedback, writing, background research, data analysis,
coding, and mathematical derivations. I provide general instructions and demonstrate specic examples of how to take advantage of each of these, classifying the
LLM capabilities from experimental to highly useful. I argue that economists
can reap signicant productivity gains by taking advantage of generative AI to
automate micro tasks. Moreover, these gains will grow as the performance of AI
systems across all of these domains will continue to improve. I also speculate on
the longer-term implications of AI-powered cognitive automation for economic
research.