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Research was recently published alleging that official Chinese statistics on GDP size and growth have been overstated, by up to ~12%. What effect might this have on the global and Chinese economies?

最近发表的研究报告声称:中国官方GDP规模和增长数据被夸大了12%。这对全球经济和中国经济有什么影响?


Robin Daverman, World traveler
Research was recently published alleging that official Chinese statistics on GDP size and growth have been overstated, by up to ~12%. What effect might this have on the global and Chinese economies?

最近发表的研究报告声称:中国官方GDP规模和增长数据被夸大了12%。这对全球经济和中国经济有什么影响?

If you actually bothered to read the article, you’d have realized that it’s trivial. In 2006 China’s GDP was $2.7 trillion. In 2016 it was $11 trillion. Even if the quoted research was correct, you are talking about whether China had a cumulative growth of 450% or 435% in this period.

如果你真的读了这篇文章,你就会意识到它是微不足道的。2006年中国GDP为2.7万亿美元。2016年中国GDP为11万亿美元。即使引用的研究是正确的,那你就是在讨论中国在此期间的累积增长是450%还是435%。



The other “fatal flaw”, in my opinion, is that the authors did not do any primary research, but instead, relied entirely on publicly available VAT tax data. So it was just looping around with partial paper numbers, instead of doing reality checks. I hope this does not come as a surprise to you - nobody likes to pay taxes! If you go take a walk in Shenzhen street, and run into 100 people, I bet less than 5 of them pay taxes. Which was why China could only collect income tax on 2% of her population. Why only 2% of Chinese pay any income tax It doesn’t necessarily make the research invalid, but then, you should be aware that you have no visibility to 98% of the population and their associated economics.

我认为,另一个“致命缺陷”是作者们没有做任何初级研究,而是完全依赖于公开是增值税数据。所以那只是部分纸面数字的循环使用,而不是进行真正检查。我希望这不会让你惊讶:没有人喜欢交税!如果你在深圳街头散步,碰到100个人,我打赌里面少于5个人交税。这就是为什么中国只能收取她2%人口的个人所得税。为什么只有2%的中国人交个税。这并不一定使研究无效,但是你应该意识到你对98%的人口和他们相关的经济情况不了解。

The fact is, nobody even cares about this enough to actually find out. It’s that trivial. People who are really interested in macro-economy are all waiting for the 10-year economic census that China is conducting this year.

事实上,甚至没有人关心这个问题到底怎么样。它是那么微不足道。真正对宏观经济感兴趣的人都在等待中国今年进行的10年经济普查。

The interesting part of the story is not what the researchers said, but why this rather trivial bit of story is being spread so fast, so far, and so distorted, when the fact is that every single country, including the US and EU, have had real, larger proportional GDP revisions than what this paper is saying about China’s numbers. People are strange sometimes.

这个故事有趣的部分并不是那些研究者们所说的,而是为什么这个相当无关紧要的故事被如此快速地传播,并如此被歪曲,当事实是每个国家,包括美国和欧盟,都有真正比这个报告所说的中国数字更大的GDP调整的时候。人有时候很奇怪。