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Sharks and minnows in a shoal of words: Measuring latent ideological positions of German economic research institutes based on text mining techniques

Sami Diaf, Jörg Döpke (), Ulrich Fritsche () and Ida Rockenbach ()
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Jörg Döpke: Hochschule Merseburg (University of Applied Sciences Merseburg)
Ida Rockenbach: Universität Hamburg (University of Hamburg)

No 202001, Macroeconomics and Finance Series from University of Hamburg, Department of Socioeconomics

Abstract: Using corpora of business cycle report sections dealing with monetary and fiscal policy issues from 1999 to 2017 we use methods of unsupervised text scaling (Slapin and Proksch, 2008; Lauderdale and Herzog, 2016), namely Wordfish and Wordshoal to scale the institutions’ theoretical/ ideological position over debates. The results are in line with findings from descriptive textual analysis. For monetary policy, we observe a strong but short-living consensus in debate-specific positions during the heat of the financial crisis in 2008 and a larger polarization after 2008 compared to the sample period before. For the fiscal policy textual corpus, the polarization was similarly high before and after the crisis. For both policy areas, the institutions DIW Berlin and IfW Kiel define the outer bounds of the observed spectrum of latent ideological positions.

Keywords: Text Scaling Model; Wordfish; Wordshoal; Computational Content Analysis; Hierarchical Factor Model; Bayesian Estimation; Political Economy; Ideology; Polarization; Public Policy; Monetary Policy; Fiscal Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: E32 E52 E62 H3 C55 D7 P16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 27 pages
Date: 2020-08-25
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-eec and nep-mac
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