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Who Shrunk China? Puzzles in the Measurement of Real GDP

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  • Feenstra, Robert
  • Ma, Hong
  • Neary, J Peter
  • Rao, DS Prasada

Abstract

The latest World Bank estimates of real GDP per capita for China are significantly lower than previous ones. We review possible sources of this puzzle and conclude that it reflects a combination of factors, including substitution bias in consumption, reliance on urban prices which we estimate are higher than rural ones, and the use of an expenditure-weighted rather than an output-weighted measure of GDP. Taking all these together, we estimate that real per-capita GDP in China was 50% higher relative to the U.S. in 2005 than the World Bank estimates.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8592.

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Date of creation: Oct 2011
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8592

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Related research

Keywords: EKS; Geary-Khamis and GAIA Indexes; Gerschenkron Effect; International comparisons of real income and GDP; Measurement economics; substitution bias;

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  1. Barnett, William A. & Diewert, W. Erwin & Zellner, Arnold, 2009. "Introduction to Measurement with Theory," MPRA Paper 14868, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Diewert, W. E. & Wales, T. J., 1988. "A normalized quadratic semiflexible functional form," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 327-342, March.
  3. Balk,Bert M., 2008. "Price and Quantity Index Numbers," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521889070, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Anderson, Kym & Strutt, Anna, 2012. "The changing geography of world trade: Projections to 2030," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 303-323.
  2. Morrow, John & Carter, Michael, 2013. "Left, right, left: income, learning and political dynamics," MPRA Paper 45020, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Jean Fouré & Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Lionel Fontagné, 2013. "Modelling the world economy at the 2050 horizon," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 21(4), pages 617-654, October.
  4. Jean Fouré & Agnès Bénassy-Quéré & Lionel Fontagné, 2012. "The Great Shift: Macroeconomic projections for the world economy at the 2050 horizon," Working Papers 2012-03, CEPII research center.
  5. repec:hal:journl:hal-00975545 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. repec:hal:gmonwp:hal-00962464 is not listed on IDEAS

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