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China's Statistical System in Transition: Challenges, Data Problems, and Institutional Innovations

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  • Carsten A. Holz

Abstract

While China's official statistics are often regarded as of questionable quality, critics are rarely aware of just how difficult it is to compile accurate statistics in a developing and transition economy. This paper traces the challenges economic reforms pose for the development of China's statistical system, establishes a typology of the resulting data problems in official Chinese statistics today, and examines how these challenges and data problems are being addressed through institutional innovations in data compilation. Analysis of China's data compilation methods allows broad judgments on data quality. Special attention is given to GDP data as the aggregate measure of productive activities in China. Copyright 2004 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Carsten A. Holz, 2004. "China's Statistical System in Transition: Challenges, Data Problems, and Institutional Innovations," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 50(3), pages 381-409, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:revinw:v:50:y:2004:i:3:p:381-409
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    Cited by:

    1. Lu, Jiangyong & Tao, Zhigang, 2009. "Trends and determinants of China's industrial agglomeration," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 167-180, March.
    2. Ma, Ben & Song, Guojun & Zhang, Lei & Sonnenfeld, David A., 2014. "Explaining sectoral discrepancies between national and provincial statistics in China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 353-369.
    3. Liu, Tung & Li, Kui-Wai, 2006. "Disparity in factor contributions between coastal and inner provinces in post-reform China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(4), pages 449-470.
    4. repec:spr:ediscc:v:2:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s41885-017-0018-x is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Roberto Casarin & Komla Mawulom Agudze & Monica Billio & Eric Girardin, 2014. "Growth-cycle phases in China�s provinces: A panel Markov-switching approach," Working Papers 2014:19, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
    6. Robert C. Feenstra & Zhiyuan Li & Miaojie Yu, 2014. "Exports and Credit Constraints under Incomplete Information: Theory and Evidence from China," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(4), pages 729-744, October.
    7. Juuso Kaaresvirta & Aaron Mehrotra, 2009. "Business surveys and inflation forecasting in China," Economic Change and Restructuring, Springer, vol. 42(4), pages 263-271, November.
    8. Zheng, Jinghai & Bigsten, Arne & Hu, Angang, 2009. "Can China's Growth be Sustained? A Productivity Perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 874-888, April.
    9. Faqin Lin, 2011. "Labor Quality and Inward FDI: A Firm‐level Empirical Study in China," China & World Economy, Institute of World Economics and Politics, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, vol. 19(3), pages 68-86, May.
    10. Miaojie Yu & Guangliang Ye & Baozhi Qu, 2013. "Trade Liberalisation, Product Complexity and Productivity Improvement: Evidence from Chinese Firms," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(7), pages 912-934, July.
    11. Marlene Amstad & Ye Huan & Guonan Ma, 2014. "Developing an underlying inflation gauge for China," Working Papers 853, Bruegel.
    12. Zhanqi Yao, 2010. "Factor Reallocation Effect and Productivity in China's Economic Growth, 1985-2007," Chinese Economy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(1), pages 44-70, January.
    13. Narayan, Paresh Kumar & Narayan, Seema & Smyth, Russell, 2009. "Understanding the inflation-output nexus for China," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 20(1), pages 82-90, March.
    14. Branko Milanovic, 2004. "Half a World: Regional inequality in five great federations," Urban/Regional 0404002, EconWPA.
    15. Zhiyuan Li & Miaojie Yu, 2009. "Exports, Productivity, and Credit Constraints: A Firm-Level Empirical Investigation of China," Global COE Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series gd09-098, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
    16. Miaojie Yu, 2010. "Processing Trade, Firm's Productivity, and Tariff Reductions : Evidence from Chinese Products," Macroeconomics Working Papers 22799, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    17. Gerlach-Kristen, Petra, 2009. "Business cycle and inflation synchronisation in Mainland China and Hong Kong," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(3), pages 404-418, June.
    18. Qiu, Tian, 2007. "The Adjusted Measure of Body Mass Index for the Chinese and its Impact on Health," MPRA Paper 25211, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 2009.
    19. Evans, Peter & Stavetieg, Sarah, 2009. "The Changing Structure of Employment in Contemporary China," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt62c9905n, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
    20. Zhiyuan Li & Miaojie Yu, 2009. "Exports, Productivity, and Credit Constraints : A Firm†Level Empirical Investigation of China," Trade Working Papers 22888, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    21. repec:eee:iburev:v:26:y:2017:i:5:p:839-854 is not listed on IDEAS
    22. Li, Ying Ming & Schwarze, Reimund, 2013. "From global public good to regional economic services: A comparative study on the development of climate change as economic goods in China and the EU," UFZ Discussion Papers 12/2013, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ), Division of Social Sciences (ÖKUS).

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