Category Archives: Poor Numbers

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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Whose numbers?

That’s the title of an article written by Adewale Maja-Pearce. He takes stock of the debate on Poor Numbers (between me and some representatives from some statistical offices) – and relates it to the problems of counting people in Nigeria … Continue reading

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Five reasons why African growth is slower than the data tell you

One of the things my  book Poor Numbers suggested, was that the rise of Africa might not be as impressive as the data tells you. The African Development Bank responded by saying there was nothing to worry about: the rise … Continue reading

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Are Development Statistics Manipulable ?

That is the question we explore in a new paper I have written with Andrew Kerner and Alison Beatty. Both political scientist at University of Michigan.  Most of you would know that there is a GDP per capita threshold that … Continue reading

Posted in Poor Numbers, World Bank | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Is the FT Nit-Piketty?

The saga on the data problems in Piketty’s book continues. Giles responds to the debate that has been unfolding, and notes that the academic community has as a whole been rather forgiving of Piketty, but that in Giles’ view: Academic … Continue reading

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Economic data ‘came out of thin air’

No, this is not another reflection from my research on economic data on African economies, but the allegations by Chris Giles in the Financial Times against the inequality data used in Thomas Piketty’s bestselling book. Giles shows that Piketty has … Continue reading

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Interview with Jeune Afrique

I talk about why I think the emphasis  (taken by some journalists) on ‘lies, damned lies and statistics’ can distract us from simple but real knowledge problem. Read it here.

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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

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