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 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16317.
Date of creation: Aug 2010
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Other versions of this item:
- Xi Chen & William D. Nordhaus, 2010. "The Value of Luminosity Data as a Proxy for Economic Statistics," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1766, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- 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:
- NEP-ALL-2010-09-03 (All new papers)
- NEP-ENV-2010-09-03 (Environmental Economics)
- NEP-MAC-2010-09-03 (Macroeconomics)
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- 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
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