• How to estimate the effects of a tax increase on economic activity?
  • What is the relationship between Euro-area inflation and unemployment?
  • How are the effects of financial shocks transmitted globally?
  • What type of a path do returns on a stock-market index follow?
  • How to efficiently utilize limited data to estimate economic models to provide predictions and answers to causal questions?
Data visualisation

Econometrics is the branch of economics developing tools that economists use to answer the type of questions outlined above. The roots of conventional econometric methods are in statistics, but with increasing availability of very large data sets, these tools currently include also machine learning methods, originating from computer science.

While econometrics is primarily theoretical, concentrating on the mathematical and stochastic properties of methods, it also comprises empirical analysis of economic data, mostly with emphasis on gaining practical experience on the properties of alternative methods and comparing their performance. Methods deemed reasonable can subsequently be employed in empirical research in various fields of economics.

Further examples of empirical research questions can be found e.g. in the homepages of the Helsinki GSE research groups on Macroeconomics, Labor and Public economics, and Industrial Organization.