Bio


Saurabh Mishra is a researcher and Manager of the AI Index Program at Stanford Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence (HAI). He is the Editor-in-Chief of the AI Index 2019 Annual Report and leading work in measurement science to inform decision-making on AI.

His research interests are at the intersection of AI, economics, and decision-making. He is leading research on AI for uncertainty adjusted time-series forecasting to inform public and private investment decisions. His current research also include understanding cognitive aspects of how executives interact with AI systems to make decisions and reach sustainable outcomes.

Before joining Stanford, Mishra served as an economist at the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), and International Finance Corporation (IFC). Mishra has consulted for diverse international institutions including Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), World Trade Organization (WTO), and advises startups and funds.

Among his contributions, he pioneered research on the role of hi-tech service sector in economic growth and development to inform diversification strategies in developing countries. His research has been cited by several leading media including The Financial Times, The Economist, Bloomberg.

He holds a BA in Economics, MS in Applied Economics and Finance from the University of California Santa Cruz, and PhD in Reliability Engineering from the University of Maryland College Park.

Education & Certifications


  • PhD, University of Maryland College Park, Reliability Engineering (2018)
  • MS, University of California Santa Cruz, Applied Economics & Finance (2008)
  • BA, University of California Santa Cruz, Economics (2007)

All Publications


  • Shannon Entropy for Quantifying Uncertainty and Risk in Economic Disparity. Risk analysis : an official publication of the Society for Risk Analysis Mishra, S., Ayyub, B. M. 2019

    Abstract

    The rise in economic disparity presents significant risks to global social order and the resilience of local communities. However, existing measurement science for economic disparity (e.g., the Gini coefficient) does not explicitly consider a probability distribution with information, deficiencies, and uncertainties associated with the underlying income distribution. This article introduces the quantification of Shannon entropy for income inequality across scales, including national-, subnational-, and city-level data. The probabilistic principles of Shannon entropy provide a new interpretation for uncertainty and risk related to economic disparity. Entropy and information-based conflict rise as world incomes converge. High-entropy instances can resemble both happy and prosperous societies as well as a socialist-communist social structure. Low entropy signals high-risk tipping points for anomaly and conflict detection with higher confidence. Finally, spatial-temporal entropy maps for U.S. cities offer a city risk profiling framework. The results show polarization of household incomes within and across Baltimore, Washington, DC, and San Francisco. Entropy produces reliable results at significantly reduced computational costs than Gini coefficients.

    View details for PubMedID 31009105

  • Shannon Entropy for Quantifying Risk and Uncertainty in Economic Disparity Risk Analysis Journal Mishra, S., Ayyub, B. 2019: 2160–81

    Abstract

    The rise in economic disparity presents significant risks to global social order and the resilience of local communities. However, existing measurement science for economic disparity (e.g., the Gini coefficient) does not explicitly consider a probability distribution with information, deficiencies, and uncertainties associated with the underlying income distribution. This article introduces the quantification of Shannon entropy for income inequality across scales, including national-, subnational-, and city-level data. The probabilistic principles of Shannon entropy provide a new interpretation for uncertainty and risk related to economic disparity. Entropy and information-based conflict rise as world incomes converge. High-entropy instances can resemble both happy and prosperous societies as well as a socialist-communist social structure. Low entropy signals high-risk tipping points for anomaly and conflict detection with higher confidence. Finally, spatial-temporal entropy maps for U.S. cities offer a city risk profiling framework. The results show polarization of household incomes within and across Baltimore, Washington, DC, and San Francisco. Entropy produces reliable results at significantly reduced computational costs than Gini coefficients.

    View details for DOI 10.1111/risa.13313

  • Ensemble Deep Learning Framework for Financial Time-Series Predictions using Dynamic Time Warping (DTW) based Hierarchical Clustering Analysis (HCA) and Long-Short Term Memory (LSTM) Mishra, S., Ayyub, B. Center for Technology & Systems Management (CTSM). University of Maryland College Park. 2019

    Abstract

    This study presents a novel deep learning framework where Dynamic Time Warping (DTW), Hierarchical Clustering Analysis (HCA), and long-short term memory (LSTM) are combined for daily stock price forecasting. The proposed ensemble model framework consists of the following components: first, processed domain knowledge is used to extract set of technical features related to companies and or stock index price history, and macro-economic features; second, Dynamic Time Warping (DTW) is used to learn the similarity between sequences, for example a pair companies or features, and Hierarchical Clustering Analysis (HCA) is used to determine which features are relevant for a given prediction problem to construct a training-data set; an automated decision based on saved training data is fed into a deep LSTM neural network for time- series predictions. Finally, MC dropout technique has been used to quantify epistemic uncertainty to go beyond just the prediction point estimates. The developed model can be used to inform decision makers on uncertain-adjusted trading strategies for next day’s closing prices. The proposed model outperforms other similar models in both predictive accuracy and profitability performance with a scalable and modular framework.

  • Economic Complexity and the Globalization of Services Mishra, S., Tewari, I., Toosi, S. Structural Change & Economic Dynamics (submitted). 2019

    Abstract

    Economic complexity has emerged as an important metric to measure nations’ inherent capabilities embodied in the structure of economic production. However, this metric only measures manufacturing-based capabilities. Ignoring the role of services in economic production and growth may misinform critical policy and investment decisions, especially in developing countries where services are an increasingly important ingredient of competitiveness. This paper builds the first universal matrix of global trade incorporating not only physical goods, but also services to measure the complexity of exports. A non-linear iterative algorithm that ranks the ‘fitness’ of countries based on the diversity and complexity of their exports is applied. Two findings relating to the economic potential of emerging and developing markets are highlighted. First, emerging markets and many middle-income countries show greater economic strength adding services trade. Second, resource rich countries improve ranking when services are also used to measure economic complexity. The evidence highlights that technology-based “modern” services increase country fitness, and will remain an important component for future growth strategies.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Informing Executive Decisions in Managing Mega Projects Mishra, S., Ayyub, B. Center for Technology & Systems Management. University of Maryland College Park. 2019

    Abstract

    One third of the reason why mega-projects fail are due to “out of hand” uncertainty. The proposed framework for Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a monitoring system can help executives manage and reduce uncertainties impacting the project from external domains, such as economics, finance, or geopolitics. Accounting for different risk perspectives and incorporating accurate and reliable forecasts at early stages can help risk-management practices by information decisions based on foresight intelligence.

  • Predicting Regional Economic Activity using Artificial Intelligence (AI) Methods: Case Study with Indian States IASSI Quarterly Mishra, S., Ayyub, B. 2019
  • Oil Prices and Inflation Dynamics: Evidence from Advanced and Developing Economies Journal of International Money and Finance Choi, S., Furceri, D., Loungani, P., Mishra, S., Poplawski-Ribeiro, M. 2018; 82 (C)
  • https://drive.google.com/file/d/1f-d_8NzNAyjFlviOp1YfVePGKm0zTu6T/view Mishra, S., Chandra, V. World Bank. 2018 ; World Bank

    Abstract

    Like many resource-rich countries, oil exporting Angola is having difficulty in graduating to a high-income status without diversifying its sources of income in products and services that have more stable prices. It also faces the additional challenge of rejuvenating its war-destructed economic base. We apply a variety of technical metrics to evaluate export concentration in Angola. Regardless of the measure used to gauge concentration, it is apparent that in the medium term, its skill levels are the key challenge to Angola’s diversification in higher value products and services. In the immediate term, rebuilding some of the industries in which Angola had a natural comparative advantage in the 1960s and ‘70s seems a prudent first step towards diversification. Emerging exports indicate that since Angola still has a comparative advantage in them, it can scale up exports of high value fish and fish preparations, edible agricultural products, animal skins and wood. Angola can also diversify in three new manufacturing clusters: (i) preserving old specialization, such as diamonds, fisheries, or wool. Learning by exporting simple agricultural and manufactured products will pave the way to more sophisticated exports, (ii) light manufacturing goods made from natural agricultural products such as leather and footwear, wood products, agro- processing, and chemicals; and (iii) greater processing of its large variety minerals and metals (nickel, copper, quartz, zinc, and natural stones) which have many industrial applications, and (iii) medium-tech manufacturing such as construction related materials, machinery and laboratory equipment for heating and cooling system. A skilled workforce and technology adoption will help develop a modern service export hub, including building on its business travel specialization to build a modern service ecosystem, including in sea, air, and other transportation services, movement from telecommunication to modern information services, and business services over the medium to long-run. Angola can also leverage the entrepreneurial capital of returning Portuguese and other immigrants to diversify in traditional and modern service exports such as business, finance, or sea-transportation. Angola’s close ties with China can facilitate the FDI and foreign skills needed to fix its infrastructure if the government commits to building a conducive business climate. Ultimately, Angola’s success in diversifying will hinge critically on adapting new technologies and developing simple technical skills that are a pre-requisite to industrialization and a modern service-based economy.

  • Incorporating Services in the Economic Fitness Approach Zaccaria, A., Mishra, S., Cader, M., Pietrenero, L. World Bank. Washington, DC . 2018 ; World Bank Policy Research Paper (8485):

    Abstract

    Economic Complexity is a set of network-based and algorithmic methods for the study of economic development and competitiveness. In this framework, Economic Fitness is an innovative approach that improves the mathematical and conceptual scheme. For convenience, these methods were originally conceived on trade in goods. This paper extends the Economic Fitness methodology to include a trade in services element to yield a universal matrix of world trade and thus provide a more complete picture of a country’s development and global competitiveness. The paper applies two algorithms to the universal trade in goods and services matrix to contrast country competitiveness and change in complexity and diversification when services are added to the traditional goods-only matrix. The results show that (i) the competitiveness of many countries was previously over- or underestimated, that is, many countries gain or lose positions in the ranking of economic fitness when services trade is considered alongside goods; and (ii) complex services tend to cluster with complex manufacturing, suggesting a common capabilities structure. These findings show how developing complex services aids diversification strategies for developing countries.

  • Entropy-Based Economic Disparity Profiles: The Tale of Four US Cities Baltimore, Detroit, San Francisco, and Washington, DC Mishra, S., Ayyub, B. University of Maryland College Park. 2018

    Abstract

    The polarization of US cities presents significant risks to the resilience of local communities. Existing measurement science for economic disparity (e.g. Gini coefficient) do not explicitly consider a probability distribution with information, deficiencies and uncertainties associated with the underlying income distribution. This paper introduces probabilistic principles of Shannon Entropy to quantity uncertainty and risk in economic disparity with theoretic and empirical evidence using inter-and-intra city level data during the economic recovery (2009-14). The evidence shows polarization of household incomes within and across Baltimore, Washington, DC and San Francisco. Both poor and rich tracts in polarized cities have low entropy and high risk of social disorder with higher certainty. Medium income tracts tend to reveal high entropy corresponding to greater equality and parity with higher uncertainty. Detroit experienced secular decline in incomes across all income groups. Risks of social disorder are high only in poor tracts of Detroit. Intra-city spatio-temporal entropy risk maps provide a framework to assess the risk profile for a city to aid urban investment and policy strategies.

  • World Trade in Services: Evidence from New Data Mishra, S., Loungani, P., Papageorgiou , C., Wang, K. International Monetary Fund. 2017 ; IMF Working Paper (WPIEA2017077):

    Abstract

    Using a newly constructed dataset on trade in services for 192 countries from 1970 to 2014, this paper shows that services currently constitute one-fourth of world trade and an increasingly important component of global production. A detailed analysis of patterns and stylized facts reveals that exports of services are not only gaining strong momentum and catching up with exports of goods in many countries, but they could also trigger a new wave of trade globalization. Research applications of the trade in service dataset on structural transformation, resilience, labor reallocation, and income distribution are outlined.

  • Transforming Non-Renewable Resource Economies (NRE’s) Mishra, S., Battaile, B. International Monetary Fund. 2015 ; IMF Working Paper (WP/15/171):

    Abstract

    This paper provides an empirical benchmarking of growth, productivity and export patterns for developing NREs against other low and middle income developing countries, to inform policy discussions and future analytical work. There is stark heterogeneity in the association of resource sector and overall growth outcomes, by commodity and degree of dependence. Over the long term, inter-sectoral growth dynamics have been more muted for NREs than other developing countries, especially at lower incomes. Despite productivity convergence in mining, as expected, productivity growth in manufacturing and services was generally lower in NREs. Exceptions are few, in East Asia and the CIS area which experienced broad-based productivity growth. NRE product exports are more concentrated and relatively less complex, though we find increasingly diversified service export baskets. Technological progress and specialization in trade in services may offer diversification options for the future.

  • Make in India: Which Exports Can Drive the Next Wave of Growth? Mishra, S., Anand, R., Kochhar, K. International Monetary Fund. 2015 ; IMF Working Paper (WP/15/119):

    Abstract

    Structural transformation depends not only on how much countries export but also on what they export and with whom they trade. This paper breaks new ground in analyzing India’s exports by the technological content, quality, sophistication, and complexity of the export basket. We identify five priority areas for policies: (1) reduction of trade costs, at and behind the border; (2) further liberalization of FDI including through simplification of regulations and procedures; (3) improving infrastructure including in urban areas to enhance manufacturing and services in cities; (4) preparing labor resources (skills) and markets (flexibility) for the technological progress that will shape jobs in the years ahead; and (5) creating an enabling environment for innovation and entrepreneurship to draw the economy into higher productivity activities.

  • Inclusive Growth: Measurement and Determinants Mishra, S., Anand, R., J. Peiris, S. International Monetary Fund. Washington, DC . 2013 ; IMF Working Papers (WP/13/135):

    Abstract

    We estimate a unified measure of inclusive growth for emerging markets by integrating their economic growth performance and income distribution outcomes, using data over three decades. Country distributions are calibrated by combining PPP GDP per capita and income distribution from survey data. We apply the microeconomic concept of a social mobility function at the macroeconomic level to measure inclusive growth that is closer to the absolute definition of propoor growth. This dynamic measure permits us to focus on inequality as well as distinguish between countries where per capita income growth was the same for the top and the bottom of the income pyramid, by accounting for the pace of growth. Our results indicate that macroeconomic stability, human capital, and structural changes are foundations for achieving inclusive growth. The role of globalization could also be positive with foreign direct investment and trade openess fostering greater inclusiveness, while financial deepening and technological change have no discernible effect.

  • How to Avoid Middle Income Traps? Evidence from Malaysia Flaaen, A., Ghani, E., Mishra, S. World Bank. 2013 ; World Bank Policy Research Paper (6435):

    Abstract

    Malaysia's structural transformation from low to middle income is a success story, making it one of the most prominent manufacturing exporters' in the world However, like many other middle income economies, it is squeezed by the competition from low-wage economies on the one hand, and more innovative advanced economies on the other What can Malaysia do? Does Malaysia need a new growth strategy? This paper emphasizes the need for broad structural transformation; that is, moving to higher productivity production in both goods and services This paper examines productivity growth for Malaysia at the sectoral level, and constructs several measures of the sophistication of goods and services trade, and puts these comparisons in a global context The results indicate that Malaysia has further opportunities for growth in the services sector in particular Modernizing the services sector may provide a way out of the middle income trap, and serve as a source of growth for Malaysia into the future

  • Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Income Inequality in Vietnam Mishra, S., Osorio-Radarte, I. OECD. Paris, France. 2012

    Abstract

    Which communities have difficulty to recover their incomesafter an economic crisis? This paper investigates the spatial and temporal dynamics of income inequality in Vietnam between 2002-2012. The episode of inclusive growth from 2004 -06 was followed by periods of regressive growth incidences after the financial crisis. The bottom 20-40% of the distribution has witnessed the hardest recovery. In the aftermath of a crisis, the combination of below potential overall income growth and regressive growth incidences has left the poor people in poor locations least resilient to raise their relative income levels.

  • Structural Transformation and the Sophistication of Production Anand, R., Mishra, S., Spatafora, N. International Monetary Fund. Washington, DC. 2012 ; IMF Working Paper (WP/12/59):
  • Service Export Sophistication and Europe’s New Growth Model Lundstrom Gable, S., Mishra, S. World Bank. 2011 ; World Bank Policy Research Paper (5793):

    Abstract

    Technology has changed the nature of service activities and made them more productive, tradable and fragmented in the global supply chain. Has Europe’s growth been benefiting from the ongoing globalization of services? Services dominate growth in EU-15 countries and, to a lesser extent, in New Member States (NMS) and Accession (ACC) countries. Except in the ACC exports. Service productivity, tradability, and exports of modern services are high in EU-15, growing fast in NMS while at a lower pace in ACC. Service export sophistication is important for growth across the region, but especially in NMS.

  • Service export sophistication and economic growth Mishra, S., Lundstrom, S., Anand, R. World Bank. Washington, DC. 2011 ; World Bank Policy Research Paper (5606):

    Abstract

    Can increasing sophistication in service exports lead to economic growth? Although services were historically produced primarily for domestic consumption, they are gradually becoming more productive, tradable and unbundled. The authors construct an index of"service exports sophistication"to document this phenomenon. Panel data estimations indicate a positive association between growth in per capita income and higher sophistication of service exports. The results also suggest that this phenomenon is growing in importance over time. Considering the limits of traditional industrialization in igniting global growth, the results provide an alternative channel.