Eric V. Swanson


Eric V. Swanson is programme manager for the World Bank’s Development Data Group. He leads a team that produces the World Development Indicators, Global Development Finance, The Atlas of Global Development and the World Bank’s online databases. He has worked on measuring educational outcomes and human capital, macroeconomic modelling and improving statistical systems in developing countries. He participated in the 2005 round of the International Comparison Program.

Papers Published in World Economics:

Maddison and Wu: ‘Measuring China’s Economic Performance’

Angus Maddison and Harry Wu (2008) claim that, in 2003, China’s GDP was 73% of that of the United States on a purchasing power parity (PPP) basis. Rejecting the results of the 2005 International Comparison Program (ICP), they construct their own PPP using a 1986 GDP estimate for China (Ren & Chen 1995) which they adjust upwards, and then extrapolate to 2003 using their revised growth rates for China, which they adjust downwards. This note examines the validity of their adjustments and assumptions, and finds them to be inconsistent with recommendations both from the perspective of index number theory and recommended national accounting practices. The 2005 PPP estimates from the ICP, which Maddison and Wu reject, produce a more plausible estimate of the size of China’s economy relative to that of the US (43% in 2005).

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