Call for Papers on China

Papers welcomed on all aspects of economic activity in China.


Papers of particular interest are on the accuracy of economic and demographic statistics, on the size and shape of the informal economy, on income and capital wealth per capita, inequality , the debt burden, and similar subjects.

Papers on all aspects of statistical methods for producing economic data, including traditional and non-traditional means of data collection are equally welcome. And papers on the practical problems of gathering data in large populous developing countries is a further area of interest.
See submission guidelines...

A paper from our sister organisation World Economics shown below illustrates some of our recent work.



China: The Biggest Economy.
Approximately 38% Larger than the USA


China’s Gross Domestic Product is estimated to be approximately 38% larger than the GDP of the USA, when calculated using Purchasing Power Parity data and including estimates of the undervaluation of GDP due to an outdated base year, plus estimates of China's significant informal economy.


Data Sources: World Bank, IMF and World Economics

Note: Chinese GDP data quality is rated C grade by World Economics, and so GDP data are usable, with caution. Population data is rated A grade.

► See China data report on worldeconomics.com



February Editorial

The Age of Equality

Life expectancy equalises globally at a rate unheard of in demographic history


It is a common belief, fostered by economists such as Thomas Piketty, that we live in an age of great inequality. This is partly true in economic terms in some countries. But in more general global terms the reality presents the opposite of this belief.

Excluding the tiny minority of billionaires and dictators, our age is characterised by massively increasing equality. Global data shows that an extraordinary reduction in inequality has taken place in both life expectancy and incomes around the world since 1950....

A Selection of Recent Journal Papers


The Informal Economy of the BRICS

This article evaluates the impact of trade liberalisation on the informal economy in the BRICS countries, which have significant unorganised sectors and trade policy changes. The article uses panel data from 1996 to 2015 to measure informality based on the method of Kaufmann and Kaliberda, which estimates the size of the informal sector as the difference between official GDP an...

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Modern Money Theory

The article criticizes modern money theory (MMT), which is a macroeconomic policy that aims to achieve full employment by using money-financed fiscal deficits, without using any formal modelling. The article claims that MMT policy would not work in an open and internationally highly financially integrated economy, because it would either cause the money stock to grow unsustaina...

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Measuring the 'Flat White Economy'

The ‘Flat White Economy’ defined in the eponymous book is the combination of tech and creative economies that developed initially in the east of London and have since evolved into becoming a significant component of the UK’s GDP and that of other economies. Research undertaken by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) estimated that the sector had grown to 12% of...

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A Mandatory Carbon Credit Purchase set by a Country’s Gross National Happiness

Countries should be mandated to purchase carbon credits for their shortfall in nationally determined contributions to the Paris Agreement. The carbon credit purchase quantity for each country should be scaled by a country’s gross national happiness. Governments should fund this carbon credit purchase through national carbon pricing. Mandating government carbon credit purchases ...

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Enriching the Human Development Index through the Inclusion of Affordable Healthy Diet

This article presents research findings that support adding ‘affordable healthy diet’ as an indicator in the ‘Long and healthy life’ dimension of the Human Development Index (HDI). The article also aims to link the Sustainable Development Goal 2 (End Hunger, Achieve Food Security and Improved Nutrition and Promote Sustainable Agriculture) with the HDI, by showing the importance...

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Inequality: A Problem for the Indian Economy

The economic slow-down and COVID-19 pandemic have highlighted India’s extreme crisis inequality. India is an unequal country: 84% of household sector income declined in 2021, at the same time that the number of billionaires went up from 102 to 142. According to the World Inequality Report, the income of the top 10% of the population is 20 times that of the bottom 50% and this g...

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Governments Manipulate Data
Author: Bruno S. Frey

Governments widely manipulate official economic and social data—but the public tends to disregard this fact. There is extensive empirical evidence that governments extensively manipulate official data. National statistical offices should be independent of their government to fight such manipulation, and alternative data producers should be supported. The public should be aware ...

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Hyperinflation in Suriname

Primary data reveal two new instances of hyperinflation, both occurring in Suriname in the 1990s. In June 1993 and October 1994, Suriname experienced monthly inflation rates of 208% and 58.6%, respectively. With these additions, the Hanke-Krus World Hyperinflation Table now records 66 hyperinflation episodes. These are the first recorded instances of hyperinflation in Suriname....

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Measuring EU-Wide Inequality

EU-wide inequality is higher than official figures by Eurostat suggest. With a Gini coefficient of 0.35 and a quintile ratio of 8.4 in 2018 (5.8 at purchasing power parity), it reaches the level of US inequality. This is a major driver of migration and relocation of production within the European Union (EU), both of which have led to a rise of nativist votes and Brexit. Relativ...

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Averting Public Debt Tsunami

This study introduces an innovative policy proposal designed to improve the fiscal stance of most countries towards long-term sustainability. We suggest implementing ‘deficit taxes’ for individuals and (100-fold higher) ‘deficit fines’ for politicians in any year in which a (cyclically adjusted) budget deficit occurs. In line with the theory of ‘rational inattention’, these tax...

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Argentina, Crises and the International Monetary Fund
Author: Graham Bird

Argentina has a long history of economic, financial and currency crises and has been exhibiting crisis characteristics since 2018. Crises in Argentina may be analysed using currency crisis models and in particular, experience seems to fit the first-generation model. After a break of 15 years, Argentina has had programs with the International Monetary Fund, a standby agreement i...

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Measuring the Informal Economy in Morocco

This paper, relying on the electricity consumption method, attempts to both measure the size of the informal economy in Morocco and construct a larger time series dataset for the Moroccan informal economy. We use the Kaufmann and Kaliberda (1996) model to calculate the size of the informal economy over the period 1971 to 2014. The results show that this hidden part of the econ...

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Statistical Data Collection Challenges amid COVID-19 Pandemic

The importance of reliable statistical data is even more urgent in the context of the coronavirus crisis, in terms of managing the risks for public health, restarting the world economy and addressing the long-term economic and social impact of the pandemic. Government lockdowns, social distancing and work from home restrictions, imposed to contain the spread of COVID-19, pose i...

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Are Purchasing Power Parity Exchange Rates Misleading in Oil-Rich Gulf Countries?

This article examines the accuracy of purchasing power parity (PPP) rates in Saudi Arabia. It highlights concerns about the perceived wealth of Saudi citizens based on interviews with American expatriates and wage statistics. It discusses the limitations of the Saudi International Comparison Program (ICP) data, including variations in data quality, differences in product select...

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Measuring the Non-observed Economy in Vietnam

This article takes advantage of new political demand at the government’s highest level to focus on measurement of the informal economy in Vietnam from a statistical perspective. The main challenges, concepts and definitions regarding the informal economy within the framework of the non-observed economy are reviewed. A discussion of alternative methodologies for measuring the ...

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Monetary Facts and Inflation

Despite recent bouts of inflation in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Europe, central bankers have been attributing the rise in inflation to various non-monetary factors, such as supply chain problems and geopolitical events. However, this article argues that excess money supply is the real culprit behind inflation, echoing the famous quote by Milton Friedman, ‘Inflat...

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Climate Change and the Global Economy
Author: Julian Gough

Over the period 1998-2022 global temperatures remained generally unchanged despite a 14% rise in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, thus contradicting the IPCC's scientific theory of climate change. The IPPC's flawed theory, accepted by most governments, will inevitably lead to mistaken economic policies which will prove both costly and pointless. The UK has...

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Shedding Light on the Shadow Economy

The shadow or informal economy covers all economic activities which are hidden from official authorities for monetary, regulatory and institutional reasons. Although widely used, multiple indicator-multiple cause (MIMIC) models have been criticised, and we develop a modified model and database covering 157 countries over the years 1991 to 2017. We tested our model using satelli...

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