Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space
AbstractGDP growth is often measured poorly for countries and rarely measured at all for cities. We propose a readily available proxy: satellite data on lights at night. Our statistical framework uses light growth to supplement existing income growth measures. The framework is applied to countries with the lowest quality income data, resulting in estimates of growth that differ substantially from established estimates. We then consider a longstanding debate: do increases in local agricultural productivity increase city incomes? For African cities, we find that exogenous agricultural productivity shocks (high rainfall years) have substantial effects on local urban economic activity.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Brown University, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 2009-8.
Date of creation: 2009
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Department of Economics, Brown University, Providence, RI 02912
economic growth; remote sensing; urbanization; income measurement;
Other versions of this item:
- E01 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - General - - - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth; Environmental Accounts
- O47 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence
- Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
- R11 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Regional Economic Activity: Growth, Development, Environmental Issues, and Changes
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2009-09-19 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2009-09-19 (Development)
- NEP-EFF-2009-09-19 (Efficiency & Productivity)
- NEP-FDG-2009-09-19 (Financial Development & Growth)
- NEP-GEO-2009-09-19 (Economic Geography)
- NEP-URE-2009-09-19 (Urban & Real Estate Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Daniel da Mata & U. Deichmann & J. Vernon Henderson & Somik V. Lall & H.G. Wang, 2005.
"Determinants of City Growth in Brazil,"
NBER Working Papers
11585, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Daniel da Mata & Uwe Deichmann & J. Vernon Henderson & Somik V. Lall & Hyoung G. Wang, 2005. "Determinants of City Growth in Brazil," Discussion Papers 1112, Instituto de Pesquisa Econômica Aplicada - IPEA.
- Da Mata, Daniel & Deichmann, Uwe & Henderson, J. Vernon & Lall, Somik V. & Wang, Hyoung Gun, 2005. "Determinants of city growth in Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3723, The World Bank.
- Alan Krueger & Mikael Lindahl, 2000.
"Education for Growth: Why and For Whom?,"
808, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- International Monetary Fund, 2006. "Jamaica: Selected Issues," IMF Staff Country Reports 06/157, International Monetary Fund.
- repec:bla:restud:v:73:y:2006:i:3:p:549-576 is not listed on IDEAS
- Doll, Christopher N.H. & Muller, Jan-Peter & Morley, Jeremy G., 2006. "Mapping regional economic activity from night-time light satellite imagery," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 75-92, April.
- John W. Dawson & Joseph P. Dejuan & John J. Seater & E. Frank Stephenson, 2001. "Economic information versus quality variation in cross-country data," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(4), pages 988-1009, November.
- Fürnkranz-Prskawetz, Alexia & Kögel, Tomas, 2000.
"Agricultural Productivity Growth and Escape from the Malthusian Trap,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2485, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Kogel, Tomas & Prskawetz, Alexia, 2001. " Agricultural Productivity Growth and Escape from the Malthusian Trap," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(4), pages 337-57, December.
- Tomas Kögel & Alexia Prskawetz, 2000. "Agricultural productivity growth and escape from the Malthusian trap," MPIDR Working Papers WP-2000-002, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany.
- Hansen, Christian B., 2007. "Generalized least squares inference in panel and multilevel models with serial correlation and fixed effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 670-694, October.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Albert Saiz, 2003.
"The Rise of the Skilled City,"
NBER Working Papers
10191, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Albert Saiz, 2003. "The Rise of the Skilled City," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2025, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Albert Saiz, 2003. "The rise of the skilled city," Working Papers 04-2, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
- Sutton, Paul C. & Costanza, Robert, 2002. "Global estimates of market and non-market values derived from nighttime satellite imagery, land cover, and ecosystem service valuation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(3), pages 509-527, June.
- Simon Johnson & William Larson & Chris Papageorgiou & Arvind Subramanian, 2009.
"Is Newer Better? Penn World Table Revisions and Their Impact on Growth Estimates,"
NBER Working Papers
15455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Simon Johnson & William Larson & Chris Papageorgiou & Arvind Subramanian, 2009. "Is Newer Better? Penn World Table Revisions and Their Impact on Growth Estimates," Working Papers 191, Center for Global Development.
- Paul Krugman, 1990.
"Increasing Returns and Economic Geography,"
NBER Working Papers
3275, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Glaeser, Edward L & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1992.
"Growth in Cities,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 100(6), pages 1126-52, December.
- Edward L. Glaeser & Hedi D. Kallal & Jose A. Scheinkman & Andrei Shleifer, 1991. "Growth in Cities," NBER Working Papers 3787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Glaeser, Edward Ludwig & Kallal, Hedi D. & Scheinkman, Jose A. & Shleifer, Andrei, 1992. "Growth in Cities," Scholarly Articles 3451309, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- World Bank, 2005. "Managing Agricultural Production Risk : Innovations in Developing Countries," World Bank Other Operational Studies 8797, The World Bank.
- Chun-Chung Au & J. Vernon Henderson, 2006. "Are Chinese Cities Too Small?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 549-576.
- Richard Tiffin & Xavier Irz, 2006. "Is agriculture the engine of growth?," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(1), pages 79-89, 07.
- Sharon L. Maccini & Dean Yang, 2008.
"Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall,"
NBER Working Papers
14031, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Sharon Maccini & Dean Yang, 2009. "Under the Weather: Health, Schooling, and Economic Consequences of Early-Life Rainfall," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(3), pages 1006-26, June.
- Brueckner, Jan K, 1990. "Analyzing Third World Urbanization: A Model with Empirical Evidence," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 38(3), pages 587-610, April.
- Angus Deaton & Alan Heston, 2010.
"Understanding PPPs and PPP-Based National Accounts,"
American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics,
American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 1-35, October.
- Angus Deaton & Alan Heston, 2008. "Understanding PPPs and PPP-based national accounts," NBER Working Papers 14499, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Angus Deaton & Alan Heston, 2008. "Understanding PPPs and PPP-based national accounts," Working Papers 1120, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
- Angus Deaton & Alan Heston, 2009. "Understanding PPPs and PPP-based national accounts," Working Papers 1186, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
- Martin Browning & Thomas Crossley, 2009.
"Are two cheap, noisy measures better than one expensive, accurate one?,"
IFS Working Papers
W09/01, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Martin Browning & Thomas Crossley, 2009. "Are Two Cheap, Noisy Measures Better Than One Expensive, Accurate One?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(2), pages 99-103, May.
- Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
- Duncan Black & Vernon Henderson, 1999. "A Theory of Urban Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(2), pages 252-284, April.
- Nuxoll, Daniel A, 1994. "Differences in Relative Prices and International Differences in Growth Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(5), pages 1423-36, December.
- William Larson & Chris Papageorgiou & Arvind Subramania & Simon Johnson, 2009. "Is Newer Better? Penn World Table Revisions and the Growth Literature," 2009 Meeting Papers 858, Society for Economic Dynamics.
Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statistics
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Brown Economics Webmaster).
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.