Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Understanding PPPs and PPP-based national accounts

Contents:

Author Info

  • Angus Deaton

    (Princeton University)

  • Alan Heston

    (University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

PPP-based national accounts have become an important part of the database for macroeconomists, development economists, and economic historians. Frequently used global data come from the Penn World Table (PWT) and the World Bank’s World Development Indicators; a substantial fraction of the world is also covered in the PPP accounts produced by the OECD and the European Union. This paper provides an overview of how these data are constructed, and discusses both the theory and the practical problems of implementing it. All of these data are underpinned by the International Comparison Program (ICP), which collects data on prices worldwide. The most recent round of the ICP was for 2005 with final results published in early 2008; version 7.0 of the Penn World Table will soon incorporate these results. The 2005 ICP, like earlier rounds, involved substantial revisions to previous data, most notably revising downwards the size of the Chinese (40 percent smaller) and Indian (36 percent) economies. We discuss the reasons for the revisions, and assess their plausibility. We focus on four important areas: how to handle international differences in quality, the treatment of urban and rural areas of large countries such as China, India, and Brazil, how to estimate prices for government services, health, and education, and the effects of the regional structure of the ICP. All of these affect the interpretation of previous data, as well as the current revisions. We discuss previous revisions of the PWT, and their effects on various kinds of econometric analysis. The paper concludes with health warnings that should be kept in mind when using these data, which are not always suitable for the purposes to which they are put. Some international comparisons are close to impossible, even in theory, and in others, the practical difficulties make comparison exceedingly hazardous.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.princeton.edu/rpds/papers/deaton_heston_complete_nov10.pdf
Our checks indicate that this address may not be valid because: 404 Not Found. If this is indeed the case, please notify (David Long)
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies. in its series Working Papers with number 1186.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Nov 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pri:rpdevs:deaton_heston_complete_nov10

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 208 Fisher Hall, Princeton, NJ 08544
Phone: (609) 258 - 6403
Fax: (609) 258 - 5974
Web page: http://www.princeton.edu/%7Erpds/index.html
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: purchasing power parities; health policy; China; India; Brazil; Penn World Table; International Comparison Program;

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Pritchett, Lant, 1995. "Divergence, big time," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1522, The World Bank.
  2. Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 2008. "China is poorer than we thought, but no less successful in the fight against poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4621, The World Bank.
  3. Ciccone, Antonio & Jarocinski, Marek, 2007. "Determinants of Economic Growth: Will Data Tell?," CEPR Discussion Papers 6544, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Loren Brandt & Carsten Holz, 2005. "Spatial Price Differences in China: Estimates and Implications," Microeconomics 0512001, EconWPA.
  5. Diewert, Erwin, 2008. "New Methodology for Linking the Regions," Economics working papers erwin_diewert-2008-9, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 09 Sep 2008.
  6. David Atkin, 2013. "Trade, Tastes, and Nutrition in India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(5), pages 1629-63, August.
  7. Dowrick, S. & Quigguin, J., 1992. "International Comparisons of Living Standards and Tastes: A Revealed Preference Analysis," CEPR Discussion Papers 277, Centre for Economic Policy Research, Research School of Economics, Australian National University.
  8. Angus Deaton & Jed Friedman & Vivi Alatas, 2004. "Purchasing power parity exchange rates from household survey data: India and Indonesia," Working Papers 173, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  9. Feenstra, Robert C. & Heston, Alan & Timmer, Marcel P. & Deng, Haiyan, 2007. "Estimating Real Production and Expenditures Across Nations: A Proposal for Improving the Penn World Tables," GGDC Research Memorandum GD-95, Groningen Growth and Development Centre, University of Groningen.
  10. Diewert, Erwin, 2008. "New Methodological Developments for the International Comparison Program," Economics working papers erwin_diewert-2008-11, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 25 Sep 2008.
  11. Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950-1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-68, May.
  12. Angus Deaton, 2010. "Price Indexes, Inequality, and the Measurement of World Poverty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 5-34, March.
  13. 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.
  14. Chen, Yi Vivian & Heston, Alan & Lipsey, Robert, 2000. "International and interarea comparisons of income, output and prices," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 363-364, December.
  15. 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.
  16. Sidney N. Afriat, 1972. "The Theory of International Comparisons of Real Income and Prices," NBER Chapters, in: International Comparisons of Prices and Output, pages 11-84 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Srinivasan, T. N., 1994. "Data base for development analysis Data base for development analysis: An overview," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 3-27, June.
  18. Gong, Cathy Honge & Meng, Xin, 2008. "Regional Price Differences in Urban China 1986-2001: Estimation and Implication," IZA Discussion Papers 3621, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  19. Kenneth Rogoff, 1996. "The Purchasing Power Parity Puzzle," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(2), pages 647-668, June.
  20. W. Erwin Diewert, 1996. "Axiomatic and Economic Approaches to International Comparisons," NBER Working Papers 5559, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Matthijs van Veelen, 2002. "An Impossibility Theorem Concerning Multilateral International Comparison of Volumes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 369-375, January.
  22. World Bank, 2008. "World Development Indicators 2008," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 11855.
  23. World Bank, 2007. "World Development Indicators 2007," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 8150.
  24. J. Peter Neary, 1996. "Rationalising the Penn World Table - True Multilateral Indices for International Comparisons of real Income," Working Papers 199622, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  25. Nazmul Chaudhury & Jeffrey Hammer & Michael Kremer & Karthik Muralidharan & F. Halsey Rogers, 2006. "Missing in Action: Teacher and Health Worker Absence in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(1), pages 91-116, Winter.
  26. Mary F. Kokoski & Brent R. Moulton & Kimberly D. Zieschang, 1999. "Interarea Price Comparisons for Heterogeneous Goods and Several Levels of Commodity Aggregation," NBER Chapters, in: International and Interarea Comparisons of Income, Output, and Prices, pages 123-169 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pri:rpdevs:deaton_heston_complete_nov10. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (David Long).

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.