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The Anarchy of Numbers: Understanding the Evidence on Venezuelan Economic Growth

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  • Francisco Rodríguez

    (Economics Department, Wesleyan University)

Abstract

This paper studies Venezuelan economic performance from 1950 to 1998. We show that there exist wide divergences in many commonly used estimates of GDP growth and discuss the sources of those differences. We show that the choice of base year and linking techniques are crucial for the diagnosis of economic growth, and argue that the aggregate GDP and TFP growth numbers are distorted by cuts in oil production that came about as a result of the country adopting the OPEC strategy of exploiting market power during the 1970s. We argue that non-oil growth and TFP numbers represent more adequate measures of economic performance and that, while far from satisfactory, these do not deviate significantly from those of other Latin American countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Francisco Rodríguez, 2006. "The Anarchy of Numbers: Understanding the Evidence on Venezuelan Economic Growth," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2006-009, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2006-009
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    File URL: http://repec.wesleyan.edu/pdf/frrodriguez/2006009_rodriguez.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Eduardo Lora, 2001. "Structural reforms in Latin America: What has been reformed and how to measure it?," Research Department Publications 4287, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    2. Jean-Pierre Benoit & Vijay Krishna, 1987. "Dynamic Duopoly: Prices and Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 23-35.
    3. Barro, Robert J, 1999. "Notes on Growth Accounting," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 119-137, June.
    4. Eduardo Lora & Ugo Panizza, 2002. "Structural Reforms in Latin America under Scrutiny," Research Department Publications 4303, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
    5. William A. Brock & José A. Scheinkman, 1985. "Price Setting Supergames with Capacity Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 52(3), pages 371-382.
    6. Eduardo Lora, 2001. "Structural Reforms in Latin America: What Has Been Reformed and How to Measure It," Research Department Publications 4293, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sanjay Reddy & Camelia Minoiu, 2009. "Real Income Stagnation of Countries 1960-2001," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 45(1), pages 1-23.
    2. Jeni Klugman & Francisco Rodríguez & Hyung-Jin Choi, 2011. "The HDI 2010: new controversies, old critiques," The Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer;Society for the Study of Economic Inequality, vol. 9(2), pages 249-288, June.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Economic growth; National accounts; Growth accounting; Oil exporting economies; Latin America; Venezuela;
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