While text-based methods are diffusing quickly in macroeconomics, finance, industrial organization, and political science, the application of these techniques in environmental economics research is still in the early stages.
Prof Joëlle Noailly, CIES Head of Research, with Eugenie Dugoua, and Marion Dumas explore the potentials of using text as data for research in environmental economics and policy-making.
Text as data is only starting to be used in environmental economics. However, Noailly, Dugoua and Dumas suggest that there is a need to expand data analysis to a more vast quantity of data sources that have not yet been explored.
For example, product catalogs, trade fair catalogs, and job advertisements could be used to measure the “greenness” of activities. As well as planning documents, building or mining permit applications, and environmental impact assessments.
In cases where data is otherwise missing, especially in developing countries, print and social media sources can also provide data to monitor environmental trends, conflicts, disasters, and migration flows.
To advance the use of text as data for environmental economics, "[r]esearchers need to pay careful attention to context to determine which of these uses is appropriate and will be most effective in advancing research in environmental economics and policy."