Author Archives: admin

Someone robbed the databank (at the World Bank)

More specifically, Justin Sandefur (with Sarah Dykstra and Benjamin Dykstra) at the Center for Global Development have been running a script to get full access to the data in the Povcalnet database maintained at the World Bank (by Shaohua Chen; … Continue reading

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Reviews of Poor Numbers

It takes a little while, about a year, between publication and when academic reviews start appearing. Andrew Jack at the Financial Times was early with a review of the book before it was published, and Bill Gates similarly asked for … Continue reading

Posted in Book review, Canadian Journal of Development Studies, Foreign Affairs, IMF, Poor Numbers | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

David Roodman on the Data Revolution

I like David Roodman’s post on the Data revolution.  He points out one of the obvious reasons why it is hard to make sense of what it is supposed to mean: “Data,” understood broadly, is like “documents”: inarguably important, but … Continue reading

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History of Capitalism and Economic Growth in Africa

I read that Chris Blattman does not recommend young academics to write book chapters. That might be good advice for some, but a piece of advice that I happily ignore. Particularly if you are invited to take part in prestigious … Continue reading

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Measuring African Development: Past and Present – Special Issue

In 2013 the chief economist for the World Bank’s Africa region, Shanta Devarajan, delivered a devastating assessment of the capacity of African states to measure development and declared  “Africa’s Statistical Tragedy”. Is there a “statistical tragedy” unfolding in Africa now?If … Continue reading

Posted in Africa's Statistical Renaissance, Africa's Statistical Tragedy, African Economic History, Canadian Journal of Development Studies, Ethiopia, Ghana, History, Mauritania, Poor Numbers, Population, Sudan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A history of economic growth in Africa: why measurement matters

The GDP re-basing in Nigeria again brought measurement to the center of debates on African economic development, just like it happened when Ghana re-based their GDP in 2010. There has been more commentary in mainstream media this time around – … Continue reading

Posted in Africa Rising, Economic Growth, Economic Growth and Measurement Reconsidered, GDP Revision, Ghana, History, National Accounts, Nigeria, Poor Numbers | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What does Nigeria’s new GDP number actually mean?

Read my write up for African Arguments here.

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Nigeria publishes new GDP numbers = Nigeria biggest economy in Africa

So it is official. The new GDP number for Nigeria was released today. It is 80.3 trillion naira for 2013. That is according to NBS this afternoon. The old GDP number was 42.4 trillion naira. The increase is bigger than … Continue reading

Posted in GDP Revision, National Accounts, Nigeria | 3 Comments

Two nice tweets on Nigerian GDP rebasing

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Nigeria Rebases GDP

The announcement is expected to be made on Sunday. It has been expected any day now for almost three years, so it is about time. As I documented in Poor Numbers: How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and … Continue reading

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