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Are Chinese Official Statistics Reliable?

By Gregory Chow


This article points out that Chinese official statistics are by and large reliable because of the assigned responsibility of the officials preparing them, of their being used in government decision making that is open to public scrutiny, and in many published articles in referred journals. Errors or statistical discrepancies do exist and users of these statistics need to be cautious. Studies by the author using official statistics are cited to support their usefulness. In particular, the estimates of Gross Domestic Product growth rates are re-examined and the errors in the allegation of overestimation by Young, A. ((2003), "Gold into base metals: productivity growth in the People's Republic of China during the reform period," J.P.E. 111 (December), 1220--1261.) are revealed. (JEL classification: O10, P20) Copyright 2006, Oxford University Press.

DOI identifier: 10.1093/cesifo/ifl003
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