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A Data-Driven Approach to Construct Survey-Based Indicators by Means of Evolutionary Algorithms

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  • Oscar Claveria

    (University of Barcelona (UB))

  • Enric Monte

    (Polytechnic University of Catalunya (UPC))

  • Salvador Torra

    (University of Barcelona (UB))

Abstract

In this paper we propose a data-driven approach for the construction of survey-based indicators using large data sets. We make use of agents’ expectations about a wide range of economic variables contained in the World Economic Survey, which is a tendency survey conducted by the Ifo Institute for Economic Research. By means of genetic programming we estimate a symbolic regression that links survey-based expectations to a quantitative variable used as a yardstick, deriving mathematical functional forms that approximate the target variable. We use the evolution of GDP as a target. This set of empirically-generated indicators of economic growth, are used as building blocks to construct an economic indicator. We compare the proposed indicator to the Economic Climate Index, and we evaluate its predictive performance to track the evolution of the GDP in ten European economies. We find that in most countries the proposed indicator outperforms forecasts generated by a benchmark model.

Suggested Citation

  • Oscar Claveria & Enric Monte & Salvador Torra, 2018. "A Data-Driven Approach to Construct Survey-Based Indicators by Means of Evolutionary Algorithms," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 135(1), pages 1-14, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:soinre:v:135:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s11205-016-1490-3
    DOI: 10.1007/s11205-016-1490-3
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    1. Oscar Claveria & Enric Monte & Salvador Torra, 2018. "Tracking economic growth by evolving expectations via genetic programming: A two-step approach," Working Papers XREAP2018-4, Xarxa de Referència en Economia Aplicada (XREAP), revised Oct 2018.
    2. Oscar Claveria & Enric Monte & Salvador Torra, 2020. "Spectral analysis of business and consumer survey data," IREA Working Papers 202006, University of Barcelona, Research Institute of Applied Economics, revised May 2020.
    3. Sorić, Petar & Lolić, Ivana & Claveria, Oscar & Monte, Enric & Torra, Salvador, 2019. "Unemployment expectations: A socio-demographic analysis of the effect of news," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(C), pages 64-74.
    4. Yelin Fu & Kong Xiangtianrui & Hao Luo & Lean Yu, 2020. "Constructing Composite Indicators with Collective Choice and Interval-Valued TOPSIS: The Case of Value Measure," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 152(1), pages 117-135, November.
    5. Tianjiao Wang & Yelin Fu, 2020. "Constructing Composite Indicators with Individual Judgements and Best–Worst Method: An Illustration of Value Measure," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 149(1), pages 1-14, May.
    6. Yelin Fu & Xiongtianrui Kong & Hao Luo & Lean Yu, 0. "Constructing Composite Indicators with Collective Choice and Interval-Valued TOPSIS: The Case of Value Measure," Social Indicators Research: An International and Interdisciplinary Journal for Quality-of-Life Measurement, Springer, vol. 0, pages 1-19.

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