Awardee: Manisha Goel, Associate Professor of Economics
Title: One Shock, Many Disruptions: Firm Experience After India’s Demonetization
Goal: To examine how firms describe their experiences in the aftermath of a sudden declaration in 2016 of demonetization in India that rendered 86% of cash in circulation no longer legal tender. We gauge firm exposure to the policy shock by the relative frequency of demonetization mentioned in its financial reports.
By applying natural language processing, the research creatively combines structured financial data with unstructured textual data contained in firms’ annual reports to discuss demonetization in its narratives to quantitatively measure firm exposure to the policy shock.
The project has been central to continuing our research.
Student assistants developed the workflows for our text analysis research on earnings reports through the following programming efforts:
1. Designing Python scripts to clean and process text data by removing boilerplate/code/malformed text and breaking it into paragraphs.
2. Training Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA) topic models using command-line tools (MALLET).
3. Writing analysis scripts to compare weights from LDA models to attributes from our data.
4. Generating plots and visualizations of those analyses.
A short workshop paper has been submitted and accepted as an oral presentation. Further, this work helped the project obtain additional Pomona’s small and large research grants.