Who Shrunk China?� Puzzles in the Measurement of Real GDP
The latest World Bank estimates of real GDP per capita for China are significantly lower than previous ones.� We review possible sources of this puzzle and conclude that it reflects a combination of factors, including substitution bias in consumption, reliance on urban prices which we estimate are higher than rural ones, and the use of an expenditure-weighted rather than an output-weighted measure of GDP.� Taking all these together, we estimate that real per-capita GDP in China was 50% higher relative to the U.S. in 2005 than the World Bank estimates.
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