Call for Papers on India

Papers welcomed on all aspects of economic activity in India.

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 here on India illustrates area of particular interest.

Indian Living Standards Soar in the Last Twenty-Six Years

* GDP in Purchasing Power Parity terms with added estimates for the size of the informal economy and adjustments for out-of-date GDP base year data.

GDP per capita growth outperforms the Asia-Pacific region and Emerging Markets.

Real GDP per capita in India has risen by 218% since 1996 and has only fallen once in 2020. India, now the world’s third-largest economy, is potentially favoured by a demographic dividend (in contract with many Asian and Western countries) with the proportion of young people under the age of 15 standing at 38% of the total population. A second burst of GDP growth might come if India’s currently low figure for the employment to population ratio of 42% was raised closer to the 65% level prevailing in China.

One of the most significant negative factors of the Indian economy’s performance remains the relatively high number of people still classed as living in poverty at 25.5%. This can be sharply contrasted with China where inclusive growth has reduced the poverty ratio to only 0.1%.

► See India data report on

December 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

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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Reconciling with Two Decades of Quantitative Easing
Author: Chris G. Pope

Credit-based growth has been the cornerstone of industrialisation efforts among most of the world’s present-day advanced economies. This was premised upon the issuance of interest-free credit and/or the regulation of the flow of credit to favour investment in tangible capital formation over speculation. The quantitative easing measures carried out today have benefited mainly th...

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GDP Upgrade: How Can One Measure the Quality of Economic Growth?

Sustainable per capita economic growth is possible if the quality of goods and services produced by the economy increases. US GDP growth may be underestimated by 0.4–0.6% per year because of unmeasured (undetected) improvement in the quality of goods and services. Calculation and publication of new statistical indicators such as IQI for separate product groups and the impact of...

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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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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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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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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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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 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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Are Sovereign Defaults (Partly) Bad Luck?
Author: Colin Ellis

When sovereigns default, the consequences can be disastrous. Domestic banks and companies often suffer alongside their governments, and the sovereigns themselves face high risks of re-defaulting. One contributor to default is often disappointing growth – examining a sample of defaults since 2000, growth has typically fallen short relative to independent forecasts made both one ...

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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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Nigerian Statistical Data and their Trustworthiness

As at 2020, the population of Nigeria was said to be about 200 million (World Bank, 2020). However, the actual population of Nigeria remains a subject for national debates, since there are no databases for birth or death rates. To ascertain the trustworthiness of the statistical data in Nigeria, this study used various secondary data. Critical discourse analysis was used to ana...

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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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