Night-Time Light Data: A Good Proxy Measure for Economic Activity?
AbstractResearch has suggested that night-time light (NTL) can be used as a proxy for a number of variables, including urbanization, density, and economic growth. But, just how close is the relationship between NTL and economic activity? This paper uses a combination of correlation analysis and geographically weighted regressions in order to examine the relationship between the two. We use fine-grained geo-coded micro-data for Swedish establishments and individuals, and match it with both radiance and saturated light emissions. We find that the correlation between NTL and economic activity is strong enough to make it a relatively good proxy for population and establishment density, but the correlation is weaker in relation to wages. In general, we find a stronger relation between light and density values, than with light and total values. We also find a closer connection between radiance light and economic activity, than with saturated light. Further, we find the link between light and economic activity, especially estimated by wages, to be slightly overestimated in large urban areas, and underestimated in rural areas.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies in its series Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation with number 315.
Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 10 Jun 2013
Date of revision:
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Postal: CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Phone: +46 8 790 95 63
Web page: http://www.infra.kth.se/cesis/
More information through EDIRC
Light-Emission; Economic Activity; Proxy;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O18 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
- R10 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - General
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2013-06-16 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENE-2013-06-16 (Energy Economics)
- NEP-URE-2013-06-16 (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.:
- Vernon Henderson & Adam Storeygard & David N. Weil, 2011. "A Bright Idea for Measuring Economic Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(3), pages 194-99, May.
- Florida, Richard & Mellander, Charlotta & Gulden, Tim, 2010. "Global Metropolis - assessing economic activity in global centers based on nighttime satellite images," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 218, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
- Richard Florida & Tim Gulden & Charlotta Mellander, 2008.
"The rise of the mega-region,"
Cambridge Journal of Regions, Economy and Society,
Cambridge Political Economy Society, vol. 1(3), pages 459-476.
- Florida, Richard & Gulden, Tim & Mellander, Charlotta, 2008. "The Rise of the Mega-Region," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 129, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
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