Poor Numbers

Jerven-Cover_sml

Poor Numbers
How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to Do about It
Morten Jerven
Cornell University Press | Cornell Studies in Political Economy

Hardcover – $65.00
Paperback – $22.95

 

 

Description
One of the most urgent challenges in African economic development is to devise a strategy for improving statistical capacity. Reliable statistics, including estimates of economic growth rates and per-capita income, are basic to the operation of governments in developing countries and vital to nongovernmental organizations and other entities that provide financial aid to them. Rich countries and international financial institutions such as the World Bank allocate their development resources on the basis of such data. The paucity of accurate statistics is not merely a technical problem; it has a massive impact on the welfare of citizens in developing countries.
Where do these statistics originate? How accurate are they? Poor Numbers is the first analysis of the production and use of African economic development statistics. Morten Jerven’s research shows how the statistical capacities of sub-Saharan African economies have fallen into disarray. The numbers substantially misstate the actual state of affairs. As a result, scarce resources are misapplied. Development policy does not deliver the benefits expected. Policymakers’ attempts to improve the lot of the citizenry are frustrated. Donors have no accurate sense of the impact of the aid they supply. Jerven’s findings from sub-Saharan Africa have far-reaching implications for aid and development policy. As Jerven notes, the current catchphrase in the development community is “evidence-based policy,” and scholars are applying increasingly sophisticated econometric methods—but no statistical techniques can substitute for partial and unreliable data

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Contents  |

Introduction

1. What Do We Know about Income and Growth in Africa?

2. Measuring African Wealth and Progress

3. Facts, Assumptions, and Controversy: Lessons from the Datasets

4. Data for Development: Using and Improving African Statistics

Conclusion: Development by Numbers

Appendix A. A Comparison of GDP Estimates from the World Development Indicators Database and Country Estimates

Appendix B. Details of Interviews and Questionnaires

Notes
References
Index

Detailed Info |

Title    Poor Numbers
Subtitle    How We Are Misled by African Development Statistics and What to Do about It
Author    Morten Jerven
Collection    Cornell Studies in Political Economy
BISAC Subject Heading    HIS001000 HISTORY / Africa
POL010000 POLITICAL SCIENCE / History & Theory
SOC027000 SOCIAL SCIENCE / Statistics
BIC Subject Heading    KCHS Economic statistics
Audience    01 General / trade
Title First Published    24 January 2013

Format    Hardcover
ISBN-10    0-8014-5163-9
ISBN-13    978-0-8014-5163-8
GTIN13 (EAN13)    9780801451638
Publication Date    19 February 2013
Nb of pages     176
Illustrations    14 Illustrations
12 tables
2 charts
Dimensions    6 x 9 in.
List Price    $65.00
Onix    Version 2.1

Format    Paperback
ISBN-10    0-8014-7860-X
ISBN-13    978-0-8014-7860-4
GTIN13 (EAN13)    9780801478604
Publication Date   19 February 2013
Nb of pages     176
Illustrations    14 Illustrations
12 tables
2 charts
Dimensions    6 x 9 in.
List Price    $22.95
Onix    Version 2.1