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Data Papers on GDP

The World Economy The World Economy: Over Half a Century of Near Continuous Growth
Ed Jones, World Economics, March 2018
The World Economy has grown for 57 out of the past 58 years, only the great recession of 2009 saw an interruption in over half a century of continuous growth. Over the whole of the last 5 decades, annual real GDP growth has averaged 3.2%, and 1.6% in per capita terms. G ... More

Debunking the Relevance of the Debt-to-GDP Ratio Debunking the Relevance of the Debt-to-GDP Ratio
Arturo C. Porzecanski, World Economics, March 2018
Historical experience does not confirm the simplistic notion that the heavier the burden of the public debt relative to GDP, the greater is the risk that governments will encounter debt-servicing difficulties. In 25 government defaults that occurred during 1998-2017, th ... More

Measuring the Share of Labour in GDP Measuring the Share of Labour in GDP
Michael Grömling, World Economics, December 2017
There is a view that increasing inequalities in advanced economies are responsible for growth problems and political polarisation. A new impetus has been injected into the analysis of macroeconomic income distribution since if capital’s share is rising this has implica ... More

Analysis of Revisions in Indian  GDP Data Analysis of Revisions in Indian GDP Data
Amey Sapre & Rajeswari Sengupta, World Economics, December 2017
This paper studies constant price growth estimates of India’s annual GDP data in order to understand the revision policy adopted by the Central Statistics Office. The use of high-frequency indicators to prepare initial estimates overstates the growth of the economy, alt ... More

Measuring GDP in Fragile States Measuring GDP in Fragile States
Barbro Hexeberg & Jose Pablo Valdes Martinez, World Economics, December 2017
Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is central to measuring economic performance and productivity, and monitoring fiscal and monetary policies, as well as changes in poverty and shared prosperity. Compiling GDP in accordance with internationally agreed definitions and rules is ... More

Double Deflation Casts Doubt on Existing GDP Data Double Deflation Casts Doubt on Existing GDP Data
Brian Sturgess, World Economics, June 2017
Increasingly, national income statisticians, the specialists involved in producing real national income figures, and the users of those figures are living in a parallel universe. Most countries use an outdated and inaccurate method to estimate real Gross Domestic Produ ... More

Why Maddison was Wrong Why Maddison was Wrong: The Great Divergence Between Imperial China and the West
Kent Deng & Patrick O'Brien, World Economics, June 2017
Much academic debate in Western and Chinese universities has engaged in testing the hypothesis that standards of living in China did not fall behind those of the populations of the national economies of Western Europe until late in the eighteenth century Unfortunately, ... More

New Estimates of Regional GDP in the UK New Estimates of Regional GDP in the UK
Julian Gough, World Economics, June 2017
Real GDP is estimated by applying a price-level estimate or deflator to nominal GDP, but GDP levels in the UK’s 12 inhabited regions are only reported at nominal prices with no allowance for differences in regional prices. A purchasing power parity (PPP) rate for the £ ... More

China’s GDP Per Capita from the Han Dynasty to Communist Times China’s GDP Per Capita from the Han Dynasty to Communist Times
Kent Deng & Patrick O'Brien, World Economics, June 2016
This article is a critical survey of the concepts and data utilized by economists and economic historians that purport to measure relative levels and long term trends in GDP per capita from the Han Dynasty to Communist times. We favour attempts to extend macro-economic ... More

How Fast Will China Grow Towards 2030 How Fast Will China Grow Towards 2030: And what about the US?
Jorgen Randers, World Economics, June 2016
Historical data for the last fifty years shows that there is a surprisingly strong correlation between the growth rate of a nation’s GDP per person and its income level. The growth rate declines linearly with income, and this relationship can be used to estimate the fut ... More

Measuring GDP in Europe Measuring GDP in Europe
World Economics, June 2015
In Europe the quality of national income statistics is less constrained by the capacity and resources devoted by national statistics offices to follow international best practice than is the case in many other parts of the world. In addition the members of the European ... More

GDP as the champion of measurements GDP as the champion of measurements: Story of an obsession
Mark Esposito & Terence Tse, World Economics, March 2015
This paper considers the importance of measurement in complex societies and notes that the concept of measuring macroeconomic variables such as GDP was grounded in the impact of the 1929 Wall Street Crash on America. Simon Kuznets, a Harvard economist, produced a report ... More

Measuring The Americas GDP Measuring The Americas GDP
World Economics, March 2015
The Americas, comprising the USA and Canada, the Spanish speaking countries of South and Central America plus Brazil and the Caribbean, is a region displaying large differences in living standards. The availability of resources has an impact on the quality and reliabili ... More

Measuring the Asia-Pacific Region Measuring the Asia-Pacific Region
Brian Sturgess, World Economics, September 2014
The Asia-Pacific region covers the countries around the Pacific Rim, South East Asia, the Indian Sub-Continent and Oceania. It contains three of the world’s largest economies outside the US: China, India and Japan. The quality of economic statistics varies widely across ... More

Measuring Latin America Measuring Latin America
Brian Sturgess, World Economics, March 2014
This paper reviews the quality of official national accounting data investigated for 17 Latin American countries. Chile, which became an OECD member in 2010, stands out as a producer of the most reliable economic data and can be compared favourably with the USA and many ... More

Measuring Argentina’s GDP Growth Measuring Argentina’s GDP Growth: Myths and facts
Ariel Coremberg, World Economics, March 2014
The main purpose of this paper is to report on the results of an exhaustive reworking of Argentina’s output growth by industry realized by the ARKLEMS+LAND Argentina Productivity and Competitiveness Project. The aim was to reproduce a GDP time series since 1993 using tr ... More

From Stellar Growth to Underperformance From Stellar Growth to Underperformance: The Abiding Vulnerability of the Indian Economy
Dilip K. Das, World Economics, September 2013
The economic trajectory of the Indian economy has altered several times. After decades of severe underperformance, the Indian economy gradually picked up momentum in the 1980s and 1990s, and turned in a stellar performance during the 2000s. This paper examines the ratio ... More

Poor Economic Statistics Fuel China’s Low Consumption Myth Poor Economic Statistics Fuel China’s Low Consumption Myth
Jun Zhang & Tian Zhu, World Economics, June 2013
The generally held belief that China’s consumption is too low is a myth based on inadequate theory, a misreading of official statistics and the use of market exchange rates for making international comparisons. Chinese official statistics underestimate consumption expen ... More

The Value of Value Added The Value of Value Added: Measuring global engagement with gross and value-added trade
William Powers, World Economics, December 2012
As production has become more globally integrated, imported components account for a rising share of the value of exports. Many countries may contribute inputs to a good, and the final assembler may capture only a small share of the product’s value. Official trade stati ... More

Measuring African GDP Measuring African GDP: The next success story?
Joe Downie, World Economics, June 2011
There is much speculation about the growth potential of African economies. But in the light of unreliable official statistics and the highly selective information often presented by investment companies with an incentive to highlight the positive, this article aims to p ... More

The Power of Price Indexes The Power of Price Indexes: And how to use them to steal a hundred billion dollars, seriously underestimate Japanese growth for 20 years and escape easily from debt
Raymond Cheung and Mike Waterson
World Economics, March 2011
Price indexes are the most important of all economic indicators simply because they are the tool used to calculate the real size, speed and direction of all forms of economic activity. Price indexes are compiled almost everywhere, but with major differences in method an ... More

Clearing the Fog Clearing the Fog: How useful are short-term economic indicators?
Simon Hayes & James Ashley, World Economics, June 2010
Official statistical agencies produce a number of data series that are more timely and of higher frequency than the published estimates of GDP growth. There are also numerous private-sector measures and surveys that provide a running commentary on economic developments. ... More

Maddison and Wu: ‘Measuring China’s Economic Performance’ Maddison and Wu: ‘Measuring China’s Economic Performance’
Yuri Dikhanov & Eric V. Swanson, World Economics, March 2010
Angus Maddison and Harry Wu (2008) claim that, in 2003, China’s GDP was 73% of that of the United States on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis. Rejecting the results of the 2005 International Comparison Program (ICP), they construct their own PPP using a 1986 GDP est ... More

Measuring Nations’ Economic Performance Measuring Nations’ Economic Performance: The Report of the Commission on Economic Performance and Social Progress
F. Gerard Adams, World Economics, December 2009
The Report of the Commission on Economic Performance and Social Progress considers the issues of establishing a broader measure of human well-being than the per capita GDP currently used. The report evaluates the possibilities for expanding the GDP concept and other mea ... More

International Comparisons of GDP International Comparisons of GDP: Is there an alternative to PPPs to obtain real GDP estimates?
Elio Lancieri, World Economics, September 2008
The recent publication by the World Bank of PPP-GDP estimates for 2005, referred to 146 countries, seems a good occasion to reopen the long-standing debate on the use of Purchasing Power Parities. While theoretical speculations on the subject have continued, no estimate ... More

Measuring China’s Economic Performance Measuring China’s Economic Performance
Andreas (Andy) Jobst & Harry X. Wu, World Economics, June 2008
China is the world’s fastest growing economy and is also the second largest. However, the official estimates of the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics exaggerate GDP growth and need adjustment to conform to international norms as set out in the 1993 System of Nationa ... More

Economic Forecasts Economic Forecasts: Too smooth by far?
Prakash Loungani & Jair Rodriguez, World Economics, June 2008
Will the US and other economies slip into recessions this year? Which economies will decouple from a global slowdown? The authors suggest that the excessive caution shown by private sector forecasters limits the usefulness of their forecasts in answering these questions ... More

Measures of Progress and Other Tall Stories Measures of Progress and Other Tall Stories: From income to anthropometrics
John Komlos & Brian Snowdon, World Economics, June 2005
How should progress be measured? Today, economists and economic historians have available a rich array of data for a large number of countries on which to base their response to this important question. The need for alternative measures of the standard of living is part ... More

International Comparisons of GDP International Comparisons of GDP: Issues of theory and practice
Ian Castles & David Henderson, World Economics, March 2005
When it comes to making international comparisons of real GDP, different views, conventions and practices are still in evidence. The authors set out the case for using purchasing power parity (PPP) converters for this purpose, rather than conversions based on exchang ... More

Is Economic Growth Good For Us? Is Economic Growth Good For Us?
Nicholas Crafts, World Economics, September 2003
This article reviews Britain’s experience of economic growth in the twentieth century. It argues that average living standards have risen much more rapidly than is generally appreciated. The main reasons for this include increased life expectancy which is highly valu ... More

"There Will Be Growth in the Spring" "There Will Be Growth in the Spring": How credible are forecasts of recovery?
Prakash Loungani, World Economics, March 2002
Forecasters are currently echoing Chauncey Gardner’s words that “There will be growth in the spring”. Or certainly by the summer. Are such forecasts credible? Yes. This article presents evidence that private sector forecasters have done a reasonably good job of forec ... More

Wealth as a Criterion for Sustainable Development Wealth as a Criterion for Sustainable Development
Partha Dasgupta & Karl-Göran Mäler, World Economics, September 2001
In this article the authors define sustainable development as an economic programme along which social well-being does not decline over time. It can be shown that the requirement is equivalent to the maintenance of a comprehensive measure of wealth, where an economy’ ... More

Wanted: Measures of Economic Change Wanted: Measures of Economic Change
Ralph Turvey, World Economics, June 2001
Economic growth may involve change, but there can be change without economic growth insofar as outputs of some products or employment in some regions or industries grows while there are equal decreases elsewhere. National accounts data do not reveal such shifts, yet ... More

How Clear is the Crystal Ball? How Clear is the Crystal Ball?: Reflections on the accuracy of growth forecasts
Prakash Loungani, World Economics, March 2001
Two salie nt features of growth forecasts are discussed. First, recessions generally arrive before the forecast. Slowdowns are predicted but forecasters are unable or unwilling to call recessions. Second, private sector forecasts tend to be similar to those of official ... More

Reply to Professor Zimmermann Reply to Professor Zimmermann
Giles Atkinson, World Economics, September 2000
Giles Atkinson replies to Professor Zimmermann’s "A Multi-coloured GDP -or No New GDP at All?"[World Economics, Vol 1 No 3 July-September 2000] ... More

A Multi-coloured GDP -or No New GDP at All? A Multi-coloured GDP -or No New GDP at All?
Horst Zimmermann, World Economics, September 2000
This is a reply to Giles Atkinson’s article ‘Re-thinking Economic Progress’ that appeared in the first issue of World Economics (Vol. 1, No. 1, January – March 2000). Atkinson discussed proposals for the construction of ‘green’ alternatives to Gross Domestic Product (GD ... More

The Black Economy - Benefit frauds or tax evaders? The Black Economy - Benefit frauds or tax evaders?
Jim Thomas, World Economics, March 2000
One answer to the question "How Rich are We?" is to compare levels of National Income either across countries or for a single country over time. However, the relevance of this approach depends on how accurately National Income measures the output of goods and services ... More

Re-thinking Economic Progress Re-thinking Economic Progress
Giles Atkinson, World Economics, March 2000
Most national governments have pledged a commitment to sustainable development. The transformation of these pledges into policy is a formidable challenge. Of particular interest are proposals for the construction of green alternatives to Gross Domestic Product (GDP), ... More