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Growth, Stagnation or Retrogression? : On the Accuracy of Economic Observations, Tanzania, 1961-2001

Jerven, Morten LU (2011) In Journal of African Economies 20(3). p.377-394
Abstract
Statistics on African economic growth are widely known to be inaccurate, but the extent and nature of these inaccuracies and their implications for the users of the data have not been rigorously assessed. This article investigates measurement issues of economic growth in post-colonial Tanzania. It is shown here that conclusions on Tanzania's development performance are conditioned by selection of the source of growth evidence. The article argues for an agnostic perspective on Tanzanian economic growth. Modelling efforts of African growth are more sophisticated than the quality of the data justifies. The policy implications are clear. For producers, there needs to be stronger investment into data collection in African economies, and for... (More)
Statistics on African economic growth are widely known to be inaccurate, but the extent and nature of these inaccuracies and their implications for the users of the data have not been rigorously assessed. This article investigates measurement issues of economic growth in post-colonial Tanzania. It is shown here that conclusions on Tanzania's development performance are conditioned by selection of the source of growth evidence. The article argues for an agnostic perspective on Tanzanian economic growth. Modelling efforts of African growth are more sophisticated than the quality of the data justifies. The policy implications are clear. For producers, there needs to be stronger investment into data collection in African economies, and for users, greater caution utilised in quantitative macro studies. (Less)
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author
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
O11, O47, N17
in
Journal of African Economies
volume
20
issue
3
pages
18 pages
external identifiers
  • scopus:79957826768
DOI
10.1093/jae/ejr003
language
English
LU publication?
no
id
7a1958dc-92b1-4ae5-9f94-ca4bb8581694
date added to LUP
2017-06-16 05:01:37
date last changed
2017-06-26 13:38:18
@article{7a1958dc-92b1-4ae5-9f94-ca4bb8581694,
  abstract     = {Statistics on African economic growth are widely known to be inaccurate, but the extent and nature of these inaccuracies and their implications for the users of the data have not been rigorously assessed. This article investigates measurement issues of economic growth in post-colonial Tanzania. It is shown here that conclusions on Tanzania's development performance are conditioned by selection of the source of growth evidence. The article argues for an agnostic perspective on Tanzanian economic growth. Modelling efforts of African growth are more sophisticated than the quality of the data justifies. The policy implications are clear. For producers, there needs to be stronger investment into data collection in African economies, and for users, greater caution utilised in quantitative macro studies.},
  author       = {Jerven, Morten},
  keyword      = {O11,O47,N17},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {3},
  pages        = {377--394},
  series       = {Journal of African Economies},
  title        = {Growth, Stagnation or Retrogression? : On the Accuracy of Economic Observations, Tanzania, 1961-2001},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jae/ejr003},
  volume       = {20},
  year         = {2011},
}