Measuring Districts' Monthly Economic Activity from Outer Space
31 Pages Posted: 28 Aug 2018
Date Written: July 12, 2018
Evening-hour luminosity observed using satellites is a good proxy for economic activity. The strengths of measuring economic activity using nightlight measurements include that the data capture informal activity, are available in near real-time, are cheap to obtain, and can be used to conduct very spatially granular analysis. This paper presents a measure of monthly economic activity at the district level based on cleaned Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite nightlight and rural population. The paper demonstrates that this new method can shed light on recent episodes in South Asia: first, the 2015 earthquake in Nepal; second, demonetization in India; and, third, violent conflict outbreaks in Afghanistan.
Keywords: International Trade and Trade Rules, General Manufacturing, Food & Beverage Industry, Common Carriers Industry, Construction Industry, Business Cycles and Stabilization Policies, Plastics & Rubber Industry, Pulp & Paper Industry, Textiles, Apparel & Leather Industry, Food Security, Economic Growth, Industrial Economics, Economic Theory & Research, Armed Conflict, International Terrorism & Counterterrorism
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