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

  • Francisco Rodríguez


    (Economics Department, Wesleyan University)

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.

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Paper provided by Wesleyan University, Department of Economics in its series Wesleyan Economics Working Papers with number 2006-009.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Feb 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wes:weswpa:2006-009
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  1. Eduardo Lora & Ugo Panizza, 2002. "Structural Reforms in Latin America under Scrutiny," Research Department Publications 4301, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  2. Brock, William A & Scheinkman, Jose A, 1985. "Price Setting Supergames with Capacity Constraints," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(3), pages 371-82, July.
  3. Benoit, Jean-Pierre & Krishna, Vijay, 1987. "Dynamic Duopoly: Prices and Quantities," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 54(1), pages 23-35, January.
  4. Robert J. Barro, 1998. "Notes on Growth Accounting," NBER Working Papers 6654, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. 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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