The Value of Luminosity Data as a Proxy for Economic Statistics
AbstractOne of the pervasive issues in social and environmental research has been to improve the quality of socioeconomic data in developing countries. Because of the shortcoming of standard data sources, the present study examines luminosity (measures of nighttime lights) as a proxy for standard measures of output. The paper compares output and luminosity at the country levels and at the 1° x 1° grid-cell levels for the period 1992-2008. The results are that luminosity has very little value added for countries with high-quality statistical systems. However, it may be useful for countries with the lowest statistical grades, particularly for war-torn countries with no recent population or economic censuses. The results also indicate that luminosity has more value added for economic density estimates than for time-series growth rates.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 1766.
Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2010
Date of revision:
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Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
Other versions of this item:
- Xi Chen & William D. Nordhaus, 2010. "The Value of Luminosity Data as a Proxy for Economic Statistics," NBER Working Papers 16317, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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
- Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
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Blog mentionsAs found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
- Luminosity as an indicator of economic activity
by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2010-09-30 17:38:00
- Ritchie asks
by Tim Worstall in Tim Worstall on 2010-10-01 09:47:40
- Dimico, Arcangelo, 2014.
"Size Matters: The Effect of the Scramble for Africa on Informal Institutions and Development,"
QUCEH Working Paper Series
14-02, Queen's University Centre for Economic History, Queen's University Belfast.
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- Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2011.
"Divide and Rule or the Rule of the Divided? Evidence from Africa,"
Economics Working Papers
0099, Institute for Advanced Study, School of Social Science.
- Michalopoulos, Stelios & Papaioannou, Elias, 2010. "Divide and Rule or the Rule of the Divided? Evidence from Africa," CEPR Discussion Papers 8088, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2010. "Divide and Rule or the Rule of the Divided? Evidence from Africa," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0756, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
- Stelios Michalopoulos & Elias Papaioannou, 2011. "Divide and Rule or the Rule of the Divided? Evidence from Africa," NBER Working Papers 17184, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Michael Wurm & Hannes Taubenböck & Jan Goebel & Stefan Dech & Gert G. Wagner, 2010. "Menschen zählen aus dem All. Möglichkeiten und Grenzen von Satellitendaten zur Abschätzung der Bevölkerungsentwicklung und des Gebäudebestandes in deutschen Städten," Working Paper Series of the German Council for Social and Economic Data 155, German Council for Social and Economic Data (RatSWD).
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