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Growth, Stagnation or Retrogression? On the Accuracy of Economic Observations, Tanzania, 1961–2001

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  • Morten Jerven

Abstract

Statistics on African economic growth are widely known to be inaccurate, but the extent and nature of these inaccuracies and their implications for the users of the data have not been rigorously assessed. This article investigates measurement issues of economic growth in post-colonial Tanzania. It is shown here that conclusions on Tanzania's development performance are conditioned by selection of the source of growth evidence. The article argues for an agnostic perspective on Tanzanian economic growth. Modelling efforts of African growth are more sophisticated than the quality of the data justifies. The policy implications are clear. For producers, there needs to be stronger investment into data collection in African economies, and for users, greater caution utilised in quantitative macro studies. Copyright 2011 , Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) in its journal Journal of African Economies.

Volume (Year): 20 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (June)
Pages: 377-394

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Handle: RePEc:oup:jafrec:v:20:y:2011:i:3:p:377-394

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Cited by:
  1. Jerven , Morten & Austin , Gareth & Green, Erik & Uche , Chibuike & Frankema , Ewout & Fourie , Johan & Inikori , Joseph & Moradi , Alexander & Hillbom , Ellen, 2012. "Moving Forward in African Economic History: Bridging the Gap Between Methods and Sources," African Economic History Working Paper 1/2012, African Economic History Network.
  2. Kodila-Tedika, Oasis, 2012. "Africa's statistical tragedy: best statistics, best government effectiveness," MPRA Paper 40674, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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