Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Let There Be Light!

How to measure GDP growth in places with poor statistical resources? A cool measure is to look from the sky at night! These economists use change in lighting at night as a proxy for GDP growth.

The picture below shows lights in Eastern Europe in 1992 to 2002. Look how Poland, Slovakia and Hungary (to the left) did much better than the former URSS republics (Moldova, Ukraine and Belarus, on the right)

I love when economists use clever thinking to solve problems! I just which they could do that to solve the crisis ;)

1 comment:

  1. Mr. Saffi,

    I would love to see that picture for Brazil in 3 different years: 1994 (pre Plano Real), 2002 (end of FHC Administration) and now. I am sure we will see improvements over the years. But I bet the difference between the first two will be impressive.