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Measuring economic growth from outer space

Henderson, J. Vernon, Storeygard, Adam and Weil, David N. (2012) Measuring economic growth from outer space. American Economic Review, 102 (2). pp. 994-1028. ISSN 0002-8282

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Identification Number: 10.1257/aer.102.2.994

Abstract

We develop a statistical framework to use satellite data on night lights to augment official income growth measures. For countries with poor national income accounts, the optimal estimate of growth is a composite with roughly equal weights on conventionally measured growth and growth predicted from lights. Our estimates differ from official data by up to three percentage points annually. Using lights, empirical analyses of growth need no longer use countries as the unit of analysis; we can measure growth for sub- and supranational regions. We show, for example, that coastal areas in sub-Saharan Africa are growing slower than the hinterland.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/index.php
Additional Information: © 2012 American Economic Association
Divisions: Geography & Environment
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E0 - General > E01 - Measurement and Data on National Income and Product Accounts and Wealth
E - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics > E2 - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment > E23 - Production
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O11 - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O4 - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity > O47 - Measurement of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output (Income) Convergence
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O5 - Economywide Country Studies > O57 - Comparative Studies of Countries
Sets: Departments > Geography and Environment
Collections > Economists Online
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2013 09:19
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 10:17
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/52095

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