Category Archives: Poor Numbers

Why did economists spend two decades explaining something that never happened ?

For the past two decades, mainstream economists who study African economic growth have been trying to explain something that never happened. Economists have focused almost exclusively on one question: Why has economic growth failed in Africa? You can read the … Continue reading

Posted in Africa Rising, Africa: Why Economists Get It Wrong, Booktalk, Economic Growth, Economic History, Economics, Podcast, Poor Numbers | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

A reading list for the data revolution

If you have sat through more than two conferences and workshops on the post-2015 development agenda or the Sustainable Development Goals (or tracked #SDGs or #data2015 on Twitter) you will be aware that there is a certain repetition of ideas. … Continue reading

Posted in Africa's Statistical Tragedy, Book review, Data revolution, Economic Growth and Measurement Reconsidered, MDGs, Measuring African Development: Past and Present, National Accounts, Nigeria, Poor Numbers, SDGs, South Africa, World Bank | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Development by Indicators: Knowledge and Governance

In this workshop organized at Nantes by Boris Samuel and me on May 5 and 6, 2015 we will investigate the role of indicators in economic development. We will explore how numbers structure knowledge about economic development and how they … Continue reading

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Why so grumpy? The datarevolution and its discontents

In “Big Questions for Big Data and what it can do for African Economic Development” I wrote about some of the basic knowledge problems that remain in development statistics, and concluded that, as of yet, Big Data does not seem … Continue reading

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Statistical Tragedy in Africa? Evaluating the Data Base for African Economic Development

On Monday, April 6, 2015 – 10:00am to 11:30am the special issue in the Journal of Development Studies: Statistical Tragedy in Africa? Evaluating the Data Base for African Economic Development which I edited with Deborah Johnston is being launched at … Continue reading

Posted in Africa Rising, Africa's Statistical Renaissance, Africa's Statistical Tragedy, African Development Bank, Agriculture, Canadian Journal of Development Studies, IMF, Measuring African Development: Past and Present, Poor Numbers, Poverty, World Bank | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Public talk in Bordeaux 19 FEB 6 PM: Derrière “l’émergence de l’Afrique”. La croissance, une fiction statistique ?

I am a visiting scholar at “Les Afriques dans le monde” at  Sciences Po Bordeaux in the spring term 2015. This event is public and free, it is organized by Vincent Bonnecasse – who contributed a chapter in my recent … Continue reading

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Podcast: How poor numbers undermine the fight against poverty

It is two years since Poor Numbers was published, and I had a nice conversation with Tom Paulson and Gabe Spitzer at Humanosphere. You can listen to the podcast here. We talked about the importance of getting good evidence, but … Continue reading

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Overcoming Obstacles to Doing Business in Sub-Saharan Africa

I am invited to offer my comments by Aubrey Hubry who argues: that inadequate infrastructure, lack of market data, and poor policy implementation impede investment in Africa, despite growing opportunities to do so profitably The event takes place at the … Continue reading

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Without a statistical revolution, Africa’s renaissance is built on shaky ground

That is the title of a summary of the debates on the current African growth data written up by Ian Fraser. He is a financial journalist and the author of Shredded: Inside RBS: The Bank that Broke Britain- read the … Continue reading

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What if everything we know about poor countries’ economies is totally wrong?

The results of a phone interview with Dylan Matthews at VOX. Read the full interview here.

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