IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

China's GDP in U.S. dollars based on purchasing power parity

Listed author(s):
  • Ruoen, Ren
  • Chen Kai
Registered author(s):

    China's gross domestic product per capita was only US$300 to $370 in 1980-91 in an estimate based on the World Bank Atlas approach used in the World Development Report. These estimates fail to capture the fact that in the 10 years since embarking on a program of economic reform aimed at rapid economic development, China has been one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Knowing what its true standard of living and productive potential is important not only for measuring the size of China's economy but for assessing its growth performance. The authors provide a detailed comparison of the GDP of China and the United States using the purchasing power parity approach formulated by the U.N. International Comparison Program (ICP), with 1986 as a base. Using this approach, which establishes a conversion factor based on prices for comparable items rather than on exchange rates, they find that: 1) China's per capita GDP in 1986 international dollars in between $770 and $1,044, depending on assumptions made about comparison-resistant service sectors and quality adjustments made in a number of selected ones in calculating purchasing power parities; and 2) China's per capita GDP in 1991 international dollars is between $1,227 and $1,663, allowing for the impact of inflation in the United States on the purchasing power parity and growth rates in China computed from national currency GDP data in constant prices.

    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:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1415.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 31 Jan 1995
    Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1415
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433

    Phone: (202) 477-1234
    Web page:

    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.:

    in new window

    1. Kravis, Irving B., 1981. "An approximation of the relative real per capita GDP of the People's Republic of China," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(1), pages 60-78, March.
    2. Liu, Ta-Chung & Yeh, Kung-Chia, 1973. "Chinese and Other Asian Economies: A Quantitative Evaluation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(2), pages 215-223, May.
    3. Bhagwati, Jagdish N, 1984. "Why Are Services Cheaper in the Poor Countries?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(374), pages 279-286, June.
    4. W. Erwin Diewert, 1985. "Microeconomic Approaches to the Theory of International Comparisons," NBER Technical Working Papers 0053, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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:wbk:wbrwps:1415. 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: (Roula I. Yazigi)

    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.