Zachary Kessler

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Curriculum vitae

Policy Modeling, Public Policy Programme

Alan Turing Institute


Using Computational and Statistical Methods to Understand the 21st Century

My primary research interests focus on utilizing cutting-edge, computational methods and modern, data-driven technologies to better understanding productivity, labor sorting, cities, technology development, international macroeconomic dynamics, economic development, and institutional design. This core collection of topics takes many forms in my research agenda such as developing agent-based models to understand housing and rental price dynamics, creating simulated labor markets to recreate real-world worker sorting patterns, employing reinforcement learning techniques to estimate the impact of institutional changes on policy outcomes, creating the first endogenous sectoral cobweb model for understanding the emergence of the informal sector, and developing adaptable artificially intelligent policymakers utilizing ensemble forecasting methods.  This novel work is always tempered with an eye towards policy and implementation, using tools that are easily incorporated in data pipelines and produce novel metrics offering powerful insight. It is this synthesis of economics, computational social science, and policy that define my identity as a scholar.

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