IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

The Erroneous Use of China's Population and per capita Data:A Structured Review and Critical Test

Listed author(s):

Hundreds of studies in economics misinterpret China’s sub-national population and per capita data. The most widely used population counts are of hukou registrations from each province, prefecture, county, or city rather than of the people living in each place and generating local GDP. Over 220 million people have left their place of registration, while almost none had when reforms began, creating time-varying errors in estimates of per capita income of sub-national units. We survey empirical articles in blue ribbon journals, in development journals, and in regional and urban economics journals that use China’s sub-national data. Over 80 percent of articles use these data erroneously; most commonly the wrong population or employment counts are used to measure the size of sub-national units, and per capita data are calculated with the wrong denominator for the interpretation placed on variables. We provide examples of errors from each group of journals, and a critical test of one highly-cited study. Specifically, we show that if hukou registrations are erroneously used to measure the local population, following existing practice, conclusions about driving forces for urban area expansion are reversed. We give recommendations for more careful use of China’s sub-national population and per capita data.

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: ftp://wms-webprod1.mngt.waikato.ac.nz/RePEc/wai/econwp/1514.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by University of Waikato in its series Working Papers in Economics with number 15/14.

as
in new window

Length: 29 pages
Date of creation: 10 Dec 2015
Handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:15/14
Contact details of provider: Postal:
Private Bag 3105, Hamilton, New Zealand, 3240

Phone: + 64 (0)7 838 4758 (Administrator)
Fax: (647) 838-4331
Web page: http://cms.mngt.waikato.ac.nz/departments/economics
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. World Bank & the People’s Republic of China Development Research Center of the State Council, 2014. "Urban China : Toward Efficient, Inclusive, and Sustainable Urbanization," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 18865, July.
  2. M. H. Pesaran, 1974. "On the General Problem of Model Selection," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 41(2), pages 153-171.
  3. Au, Chun-Chung & Henderson, J. Vernon, 2006. "How migration restrictions limit agglomeration and productivity in China," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 350-388, August.
  4. Deng, Xiangzheng & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott & Uchida, Emi, 2008. "Growth, population and industrialization, and urban land expansion of China," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(1), pages 96-115, January.
  5. Li, Chao & Gibson, John, 2015. "City scale and productivity in China," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 86-90.
  6. Iris Claus & Les Oxley & Ming Lu & Guanghua Wan, 2014. "Urbanization And Urban Systems In The People'S Republic Of China: Research Findings And Policy Recommendations," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 671-685, 09.
  7. Maxim Pinkovskiy & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2014. "Lights, Camera,... Income!: Estimating Poverty Using National Accounts, Survey Means, and Lights," NBER Working Papers 19831, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Li, Chao & Gibson, John, 2013. "Rising Regional Inequality in China: Fact or Artifact?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 47(C), pages 16-29.
  9. Poncet, Sandra & Starosta de Waldemar, Felipe, 2013. "Export Upgrading and Growth: The Prerequisite of Domestic Embeddedness," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 104-118.
  10. Iris Claus & Les Oxley & Chen Wang & Guanghua Wan & Dan Yang, 2014. "Income Inequality In The People'S Republic Of China: Trends, Determinants, And Proposed Remedies," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 686-708, 09.
  11. Sandra Poncet & Felipe Starosta, 2013. "Export upgrading and growth in China: the prerequisite of domestic embeddedness," PSE - G-MOND WORKING PAPERS halshs-00960684, HAL.
  12. Roberts, Mark & Deichmann, Uwe & Fingleton, Bernard & Shi, Tuo, 2012. "Evaluating China's road to prosperity: A new economic geography approach," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 580-594.
  13. repec:hal:cesptp:halshs-00960684 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Holz, Carsten A., 2004. "Deconstructing China's GDP statistics," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 164-202.
  15. Wei, Zheng & Hao, Rui, 2010. "Demographic structure and economic growth: Evidence from China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(4), pages 472-491, December.
  16. Chun-Chung Au & J. Vernon Henderson, 2006. "Are Chinese Cities Too Small?," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 73(3), pages 549-576.
  17. Gregory Chow, 2006. "Are Chinese Official Statistics Reliable?," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 52(2), pages 396-414, June.
  18. Holz, Carsten A, 2013. "Chinese statistics: classification systems and data sources," MPRA Paper 43869, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  19. Scharping, Thomas, 2001. "Hide-and-seek: China's elusive population data," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 323-332.
  20. John Gibson & Chao Li & Geua Boe-Gibson, 2014. "Economic Growth and Expansion of China’s Urban Land Area: Evidence from Administrative Data and Night Lights, 1993–2012," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 6(11), pages 1-16, November.
  21. Benjamin Faber, 2014. "Trade Integration, Market Size, and Industrialization: Evidence from China's National Trunk Highway System," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 81(3), pages 1046-1070.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wai:econwp:15/14. 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: (Brian Silverstone)

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.