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Night Lights and Regional GDP

  • Frank Bickenbach
  • Eckhardt Bode
  • Mareike Lange
  • Peter Nunnenkamp

Night lights could be a valuable proxy of economic activity at the subnational level when GDP data are lacking or of poor quality. Supplementing Henderson et al.’s (2012) analysis at the national level, we assess the stability of the elasticity of GDP with regard to night lights across regions in Brazil, India, the United States, and Western Europe. The relationship between regional GDP and night lights proves to be unstable, not only where regional GDP data may be unreliable but also where such data are of high quality. This suggests that night lights tend to be a poor proxy of regional economic activity

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File URL: https://www.ifw-members.ifw-kiel.de/publications/night-lights-and-regional-gdp/KWP_1888.pdf
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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1888.

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Length: 14 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1888
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  1. Nicola Gennaioli & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2011. "Human Capital and Regional Development," NBER Working Papers 17158, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Vernon Henderson & Adam Storeygard & David N. Weil, 2009. "Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space," Working Papers 2009-8, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  3. Steve Gibbons & Henry G. Overman, 2010. "Mostly Pointless Spatial Econometrics?," SERC Discussion Papers 0061, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
  4. Berliant, Marcus & Weiss, Adam, 2013. "Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space: A Comment," MPRA Paper 51055, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  5. Kelejian, Harry H. & Prucha, Ingmar R., 2007. "HAC estimation in a spatial framework," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(1), pages 131-154, September.
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