Mismeasuring long-run growth: The bias from spliced national accounts

Leandro Prados de la Escosura 27 September 2014

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In April it was made public that Nigeria’s GDP figures for 2013 had been revised upwards by 89%, as the base year for its calculation was brought forward from 1990 to 2010 (Financial Times, 7 April 2014). As a result, Nigeria became the largest economy in sub-Saharan Africa. Though spectacular, this is not an exceptional case. Ghana (2010), Argentina (1993), and Italy (1987) also experienced dramatic upward revisions of their GDP. How should this revision affect GDP time series and, consequently, the country’s relative position?

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Topics:  Development Economic history

Tags:  GDP, GDP measurement, national accounts, statistics, measurement, measurement error, data

China is not yet number one

Jeffrey Frankel 09 May 2014

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Widespread recent reports have trumpeted: “China to overtake US as top economic power this year.” The claim is basically wrong. The US remains the world’s largest economic power by a substantial margin.

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Topics:  Global economy

Tags:  US, China, purchasing power parity, statistics

Gross trade accounting: A transparent method to discover global value chain-related information behind official trade data: Part 2

Zhi Wang, Shang-Jin Wei, Kunfu Zhu 16 April 2014

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Analytical background

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  competitiveness, globalisation, trade, comparative advantage, global value chains, global supply chain, statistics

Gross trade accounting: A transparent method to discover global value chain-related information behind official trade data: Part 1

Zhi Wang, Shang-Jin Wei, Kunfu Zhu 07 April 2014

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Production segmentation across national borders has become an important feature of the world economy. With the rapid increase in intermediate trade flows, trade economists and policymakers have reached a near consensus that official trade statistics based on gross terms are deficient, often hiding the extent of global value chains. There is also widespread recognition among the official international statistics agencies that fragmentation of global production requires a new approach to measure trade, in particular the need to measure trade in value-added.

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Topics:  International trade

Tags:  globalisation, trade, global value chains, global supply chain, statistics