A penny spent is a penny earned (by someone else): Measuring GDP

S Borağan Aruoba, Francis X. Diebold, Jeremy J Nalewaik, Frank Schorfheide, Dongho Song, 3 December 2013

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“A growing number of economists say that the government should shift its approach to measuring growth. The current system emphasises data on spending, but the bureau also collects data on income. In theory the two should match perfectly – a penny spent is a penny earned by someone else.

Topics: Frontiers of economic research
Tags: data, GDP, measurement, national income accounting, unemployment, US

Measuring financial development

Martin Cihák, Asli Demirgüç-Kunt, Erik Feyen, Ross Levine, 25 April 2013

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Going to a doctor for a health check-up usually involves being weighed. Weight is a useful piece of information that may indicate something about a person’s eating habits, exercise, and other behaviours. But it does not provide a sufficient basis to assess a person’s health and wellbeing.

Topics: Development, International finance
Tags: data, developing countries, financial imbalances

Love affairs with Chinese and Japanese numbers

Harry X Wu, 28 July 2010

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On 24 April 2010, the economics profession lost one of the world’s most gifted scholars ever to quantitatively document economic performance over long periods of time and across major countries in every continent of the world.

Angus Maddison (1926 – 2010)

Topics: Frontiers of economic research, Institutions and economics
Tags: China, data, Japan

Why have developing-country data on real incomes been revised so much?

Martin Ravallion, 26 March 2010

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The International Comparison Program (ICP) collects the survey data on prices across countries that are used to estimate Purchasing Power Parity exchange rates (PPPs for short). These are then used to make international comparisons of real incomes and for other purposes, including measuring global poverty and inequality.

Topics: Development
Tags: data, GDP, purchasing power parity, World Bank

Is newer better? The Penn World Table growth estimates

Simon Johnson, Arvind Subramanian, Will Larson, Chris Papageorgiou, 7 December 2009

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The pioneering work of Irving Kravis, Alan Heston, and Robert Summers (1978), which led to the Penn World Table (PWT) data, was aimed at converting national measures of GDP and income into internationally comparable estimates. Cross-country comparisons could not be based on national GDP data because these were valued at domestic prices.

Topics: Development
Tags: data, growth, Penn World Table

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