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Ratings of GDP Accuracy in the Middle East
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World Economics, June 2019
The quality of economic data in the Middle East is very variable. Israel, Turkey and Saudi Arabia publish fair quality data, ranking high by international standards. There are significant quality issues with data produced in Kuwait, Iran and Yemen. And at the extreme end of the scale, data produced in Jordan and Syria is likely to be of little value in describing prevailing economic conditions.
False Perspective: The UNDP View of the World
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David Henderson, World Economics, March 2000
Despite some searching and unanswered criticisms of its treatment of statistical evidence, the UNDP Human Development Report has become established as a widely-quoted and influential survey of the world scene. The 1999 Report, reviewed here, focuses on ‘globalization’. This is described as a dominant influence on the recent economic fortunes of developing countries in particular, and as a primary cause of continuing poverty and growing inequality in the world. The author argues that the Report provides neither argument nor evidence in support of this thesis; that it takes no account of other factors that have strongly influenced economic performance; that its main prescription for the world, of reforms in ‘global governance’, is largely beside the point; and that its whole approach is crudely anti-liberal. The author concludes by placing the Report, as also the economists who have aligned themselves with it, in the wider context of anti-liberalism today.



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