Comments on economics, mystery fiction, drama, and art.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Generating the Wealth of Nations 35: Two Views of Real GDP per Capita in Cambodia and Chile

One of the things that can make life difficult when thinking about economic growth in different countries is that two data sources can provide us with radically different views of what happened.  Here, for example (and this is motivated by the discussion of what happened in Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge years an afterwards), are two estimates of real GDP per capita in Cambodia from 1969 to 2010.  One is fromt he Maddison Project, data which we've been using a lot through the course.  The second is from the USDA International Macroeconomic Data Set.

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I'll be honest.  I have no idea which is more accurate, or why these estimates are so wildly at variance.  It does suggest (a)  I should have done more of these comparisons and (b) we need to use any data cautiously.

From the same two data sets, real GDP per capita in Chile for the same time period.  The pattern is much the same, the difference appears to be because they are using different price deflators.

(Click to enlarge.)


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