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      Using luminosity data as a proxy for economic statistics

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      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

      Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

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          Abstract

          A pervasive issue in social and environmental research has been how to improve the quality of socioeconomic data in developing countries. Given the shortcomings of standard sources, the present study examines luminosity (measures of nighttime lights visible from space) as a proxy for standard measures of output (gross domestic product). We compare output and luminosity at the country level and at the 1° latitude × 1° longitude grid-cell level for the period 1992-2008. We find that luminosity has informational value for countries with low-quality statistical systems, particularly for those countries with no recent population or economic censuses.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
          Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
          Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
          0027-8424
          1091-6490
          May 24 2011
          May 16 2011
          : 108
          : 21
          : 8589-8594
          Article
          10.1073/pnas.1017031108
          3102367
          21576474
          © 2011
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