Photographer: Oli Scarff/Getty Images

BOE Flirts With Dating Website Algorithms to Sort Housing Data

  • Central bank uses matching software to study loans data
  • Economists publish methods in blog on BOE’s 322nd anniversary

The Old Lady of Threadneedle Street is seeking a stable marriage.

That’s according to a staff blog posted Wednesday that shows the Bank of England is borrowing from online dating apps to help assess its numbers. While the central bank’s economists have access to more data than ever, they sometimes struggle to sort it.

That’s where the tools of Internet romance come in: officials have been using algorithms more commonly used on dating sites to help decipher how the financial crisis affected the U.K. housing market.

Twitter: Fergal O'Brien on Twitter

While one in nine British households relocated in 2013-14, according to the Office for National Statistics, available information on loans does not track the mover or the reasons for the move, the blog said. By using matching algorithms to connect loans to other data sets, economists are better able to understand why, when and how people move home. 

The post from the Bank Underground blog comes on the 322nd anniversary of the BOE’s foundation in 1694, and shows economists’ determination to explain the more modern nature and methods of their research. Policy makers are set to announce their latest  decision next week.

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