Light Based Growth Indicator (LBGI): Exploratory Analysis of Developing a Proxy for Local Economic Growth Based on Night Lights

16 Pages Posted: 9 Nov 2010 Last revised: 26 Nov 2010

Rajendra Kulkarni

George Mason University - School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs

Kingsley E. Haynes

George Mason University - School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs

Roger R. Stough

George Mason University - School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs

James D. Riggle

George Mason University - School of Public Policy

Date Written: November 8, 2010

Abstract

In this paper we explore how satellite images of global night lights from year 1992 to 2003 can be used to estimate economic activity at the sub-regional level in the U.S. and China. The night lights based estimates of economic activity are then spatially analyzed and compared with sub-regional economic indicators where available for selected years. We also briefly discuss two theoretical models that shed light on the geospatial patterns reflected by the night light data. The results are presented with a series of maps, charts and tables

Keywords: Economic Growth, Satellite Data, Night Lights, LBGI, Light Based Growth Indicator

Suggested Citation

Kulkarni, Rajendra and Haynes, Kingsley E. and Stough, Roger R. and Riggle, James D., Light Based Growth Indicator (LBGI): Exploratory Analysis of Developing a Proxy for Local Economic Growth Based on Night Lights (November 8, 2010). GMU School of Public Policy Research Paper No. 2010-31. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1705438 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1705438

Rajendra Kulkarni (Contact Author)

George Mason University - School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs ( email )

Founders Hall
3351 Fairfax Dr.
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Kingsley E. Haynes

George Mason University - School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs ( email )

Founders Hall
3351 Fairfax Dr.
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

Roger R. Stough

George Mason University - School of Policy, Government, and International Affairs ( email )

Founders Hall
3351 Fairfax Dr.
Arlington, VA 22201
United States
703-993-2268 (Phone)
703-993-5027 (Fax)

James D. Riggle

George Mason University - School of Public Policy ( email )

Founders Hall
3351 Fairfax Dr.
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

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