IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Is Newer Better? Penn World Table Revisions and Their Impact on Growth Estimates

  • Simon Johnson
  • William Larson
  • Chris Papageorgiou
  • Arvind Subramanian

This paper sheds light on two problems in the Penn World Table (PWT) GDP estimates. First, we show that these estimates vary substantially across different versions of the PWT despite being derived from very similar underlying data and using almost identical methodologies; that this variability is systematic; and that it is intrinsic to the methodology deployed by the PWT to estimate growth rates. Moreover, this variability matters for the cross-country growth literature. While growth studies that use low frequency data remain robust to data revisions, studies that use annual data are less robust. Second, the PWT methodology leads to GDP estimates that are not valued at purchasing power parity (PPP) prices. This is surprising because the raison d'être of the PWT is to adjust national estimates of GDP by valuing output at common international (purchasing power parity [PPP]) prices so that the resulting PPP-adjusted estimates of GDP are comparable across countries. We propose an approach to address these two problems of variability and valuation.

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.nber.org/papers/w15455.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15455.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Johnson, Simon & Larson, William & Papageorgiou, Chris & Subramanian, Arvind, 2013. "Is newer better? Penn World Table Revisions and their impact on growth estimates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 255-274.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15455
Note: EFG IFM
Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Web page: http://www.nber.org
Email:


More information through EDIRC

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. 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.
  2. Angus Deaton & Alan Heston, 2010. "Understanding PPPs and PPP-Based National Accounts," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(4), pages 1-35, October.
  3. Garey Ramey & Valerie A. Ramey, 1994. "Cross-Country Evidence on the Link Between Volatility and Growth," NBER Working Papers 4959, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Vernon Henderson & Adam Storeygard & David N. Weil, 2009. "Measuring Economic Growth from Outer Space," Working Papers 2009-8, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  6. Benjamin F. Jones & Benjamin A. Olken, 2005. "Do Leaders Matter? National Leadership and Growth Since World War II," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 835-864, August.
  7. 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.
  8. William Easterly & Michael Kremer & Lant Pritchett & Lawrence H. Summers, 1993. "Good Policy or Good Luck? Country Growth Performance and Temporary Shocks," NBER Working Papers 4474, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Ingvild Almas, 2012. "International Income Inequality: Measuring PPP Bias by Estimating Engel Curves for Food," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 1093-1117, April.
  10. Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1984. "Improved International Comparisons of Real Product and Its Composition: 1950-1980," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 30(2), pages 207-62, June.
  11. Mankiw, N Gregory & Romer, David & Weil, David N, 1992. "A Contribution to the Empirics of Economic Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 107(2), pages 407-37, May.
  12. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt & David Mayer-Foulkes, 2004. "The Effects of Financial Development on Convergence: Theory and Evidence," DEGIT Conference Papers c009_021, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  13. Dowrick, Steve & Quiggin, John, 1997. "True Measures of GDP and Convergence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 41-64, March.
  14. Angus Deaton, 2010. "Price indexes, inequality, and the measurement of world poverty," Working Papers 1207, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
  15. Antonio Ciccone & Marek Jarocinski, 2007. "Determinants of economic growth: Will data tell?," Economics Working Papers 1052, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Sep 2009.
  16. Samuelson, Paul A, 1994. "Facets of Balassa-Samuelson Thirty Years Later," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(3), pages 201-26, October.
  17. Steve Dowrick, 2005. "The Penn World Table: A Review," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 38(2), pages 223-228, 06.
  18. Acemoglu, Daron & Johnson, Simon & Robinson, James & Thaicharoen, Yunyong, 2003. "Institutional causes, macroeconomic symptoms: volatility, crises and growth," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(1), pages 49-123, January.
  19. Hausmann, Ricardo & Pritchett, Lant & Rodrik, Dani, 2004. "Growth Accelerations," CEPR Discussion Papers 4538, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Robert J. Barro, 1999. "Determinants of Democracy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 107(S6), pages S158-S183, December.
  21. Heston, Alan & Summers, Robert, 1996. "International Price and Quantity Comparisons: Potentials and Pitfalls," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 20-24, May.
  22. Asli Demirguc-Kunt & Luc Laeven & Ross Levine, 2003. "Regulations, Market Structure, Institutions, and the Cost of Financial Intermediation," NBER Working Papers 9890, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Matthijs van Veelen, 2002. "An Impossibility Theorem Concerning Multilateral International Comparison of Volumes," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(1), pages 369-375, January.
  24. Burnside, Craig & Dollar, David, 1997. "Aid, policies, and growth," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1777, The World Bank.
  25. Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  26. J. Bradford De Long & Lawrence H. Summers, . "Equipment Investment and Economic Growth," J. Bradford De Long's Working Papers _122, University of California at Berkeley, Economics Department.
  27. Bela Balassa, 1964. "The Purchasing-Power Parity Doctrine: A Reappraisal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 72, pages 584.
  28. Kravis, Irving B & Heston, Alan W & Summers, Robert, 1978. "Real GDP per Capita for More Than One Hundred Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 88(350), pages 215-42, June.
  29. 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.
  30. John W. Dawson & Joseph P. Dejuan & John J. Seater & E. Frank Stephenson, 2001. "Economic information versus quality variation in cross-country data," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(4), pages 988-1009, November.
  31. Natalia Ponomareva & Hajime Katayama, 2010. "Does the version of the Penn World Tables matter? An analysis of the relationship between growth and volatility," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(1), pages 152-179, February.
  32. Edward Miguel & Shanker Satyanath & Ernest Sergenti, 2004. "Economic Shocks and Civil Conflict: An Instrumental Variables Approach," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 112(4), pages 725-753, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15455. 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: ()

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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.