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Validating China's Output Data Using Satellite Observations

40 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2017 Last revised: 28 Sep 2017

Stephen D. Morris

Bowdoin College - Department of Economics

Junjie Zhang

Duke Kunshan University

Date Written: September 27, 2017

Abstract

Can officially reported output figures be externally validated? This paper presents a dynamic panel framework for assessing statistics using verifiable signals of economic activity. In this context, satellite readings of nitrogen dioxide, a byproduct of combustion, are forwarded. The problem of validating China’s reported gross domestic product at the subnational level during two recent downturns is considered. During the Great Recession period, reported figures are validated for some regions, but not others, including specifically those known to be inaccurate.

Keywords: China, GDP, Nitrogen Dioxide, Dynamic Panel Data

JEL Classification: C33, E01, Q50

Suggested Citation

Morris, Stephen D. and Zhang, Junjie, Validating China's Output Data Using Satellite Observations (September 27, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2920650

Stephen David Morris (Contact Author)

Bowdoin College - Department of Economics ( email )

Brunswick, ME 04011
United States

Junjie Zhang

Duke Kunshan University ( email )

No. 8 Duke Avenue
Kunshan, 215316
China
+86 512 36657068 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://junjiezhang.org

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