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The Chinese GDP Growth Rate Puzzle: How Fast Has the Chinese Economy Grown?

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  • Harry X. Wu

Abstract

The Chinese statistical authorities have recently adjusted the Chinese GDP level and growth rate for the period 1993-2004 following China's first national economic census. However, their methodology used in the adjustment is opaque. Using a trend-deviation interpolation approach, this study has managed to replicate the basic procedures of the adjustment and reproduced the official estimates. Through this exercise, it has found that the estimates that could be obtained by the normal interpolation procedures were significantly and arbitrarily modified to satisfy certain needs. Based on some political economy argument, we attempt to explain why the adjustment had to leave the growth rate of 1998 intact and why it had to bypass the price issue and directly work on the real growth rate adjustment. Based on previous studies and other observations, we also challenge the census results on non-service industries.

Suggested Citation

  • Harry X. Wu, 2006. "The Chinese GDP Growth Rate Puzzle: How Fast Has the Chinese Economy Grown?," Hi-Stat Discussion Paper Series d06-176, Institute of Economic Research, Hitotsubashi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:hst:hstdps:d06-176
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    File URL: http://hi-stat.ier.hit-u.ac.jp/research/discussion/2006/pdf/D06-176.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Wing Thye Woo, "undated". "Chinese Economic Growth: Sources And Prospects," Department of Economics 96-08, California Davis - Department of Economics.
    2. Wu, Harry X, 2000. "China's GDP Level and Growth Performance: Alternative Estimates and the Implications," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 46(4), pages 475-499, December.
    3. Wu, Harry X, 2002. "How Fast Has Chinese Industry Grown?--Measuring the Real Output of Chinese Industry, 1949-97," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 48(2), pages 179-204, June.
    4. Angus Maddison, 2006. "DO OFFICIAL STATISTICS EXAGGERATE CHINA's GDP GROWTH? A REPLY TO CARSTEN HOLZ," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 52(1), pages 121-126, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Holz, Carsten A., 2014. "The quality of China's GDP statistics," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 309-338.
    2. Jeffrey Zax, 2014. "Housing allocations, imputed rents and inequality in urban China," ERSA conference papers ersa14p1682, European Regional Science Association.

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