Grants

University of California, Davis

To enable international economic comparisons by supporting the Penn World Table's next generation

  • Amount $495,650
  • City Davis, CA
  • Investigator Robert Feenstra
  • Year 2011
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Economic Institutions, Behavior, & Performance

The Penn World Table (PWT), a set of national accounts data which measures real GDP and relative price levels across countries and over time, is one of the most frequently cited datasets in economics. A 2009 found that, of all the cross-country empirical publications in the economic growth and development literature, nearly two thirds are based on the PWT. Version 6.1 of the PWT has more than 3,000 citations. Until now, the PWT has been a product of the Center for International Comparisons at the University of Pennsylvania, and was produced through the pioneering work of Simon Kuznets, Irving Kravis, Alan Heston, Robert Summers, and Bettina Aten. Yet this team has now either retired or moved on to other pursuits. At this point, Heston, at 77 years old, is the only one still active in preparing the PWT, and shortages of staff and funding have slowed revisions and methodological improvements to the tables. The PWT needs a new home. This grant will partially fund the transition of the Penn World Table from the University of Pennsylvania to the University of California, Davis and the University of Groningen under the care of Robert Feenstra and Marcel Timmer, respectively. Additional funds are provided to evaluate and, if appropriate, implement proposed methodological improvements to the PWT.

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