How Not to Defend the Revolution: Mark Weisbrot and the Misinterpretation of Venezuelan Evidence
AbstractMark Weisbrot (2008) has claimed that under the Chávez administration in Venezuela the share of pro-poor spending has increased, inequality has declined, poverty has fallen rapidly, and there has been a massive reduction in illiteracy. All of these conclusions are based on the use of heavily slanted data and on the misinterpretation of the existing empirical evidence. Weisbrot uses estimates of social spending that are upward biased by the inclusion of large infrastructure projects, debt refinancing, and even military spending; his inequality data is distorted by the inexplicable exclusion of households that received no income; his econometric estimates on illiteracy actually show the exact opposite of what he is arguing for. Weisbrot confuses basic economic concepts and offers a bizarre interpretation of events leading up to the 2002 currency crisis. Once one corrects for Weibrot’s biases, the evidence paints a consistent image of an administration that has not effectively prioritized the well-being of the Venezuelan poor.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Wesleyan University, Department of Economics in its series Wesleyan Economics Working Papers with number 2008-001.
Length: 16 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2008
Date of revision:
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-04-15 (All new papers)
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.:
- Mark Weisbrot, 2008. "An Empty Research Agenda: The Creation of Myths About Contemporary Venezuela," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2008-10, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
- María Antonia Moreno & Francisco Rodríguez, 2006. "Plenty of Room? Fiscal Space in a Resource Abundant Economy," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2006-022, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
- Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua, 1997.
"What Can New Survey Data Tell Us about Recent Changes in Distribution and Poverty?,"
World Bank Economic Review,
World Bank Group, vol. 11(2), pages 357-82, May.
- Ravallion, Martin & Shaohua Chen, 1996. "What can new survey data tell us about recent changes in distribution and poverty?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1694, The World Bank.
- Mark Weisbrot, 2008. "How Not to Attack an Economist (and an Economy): Getting the Numbers Right," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2008-13, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
- Wikipedia:Reliable sources/Noticeboard/Archive 34 in Wikipedia English ne '')
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Manolis Kaparakis).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.