Archive for August, 2015

Reliability of PPPs

Anyone with some background in economics is probably familiar with the concept of Purchasing Power Parities (PPP). It is a special price index used to convert countries’ national accounts (in local currencies) into comparable terms (e.g. US dollar). But how are PPPs actually computed and how reliable are they?. Continue reading

My Research

I try to develop better statistical methods for estimation of widely used measures such as inequality, poverty, purchasing power parity (PPP), productivity and efficiency. More specifically, my current research has been on the following topics:

Estimation and Inference for Income Distributions 

Estimation of regional and global income distributions (and their by-products i.e. inequality and poverty measures) is a major research problem and is the goal of the project that I am involved with. I have published several papers and written several more on this topic so far and would like to expand my knowledge and research in this area. There are many interesting topics here to blog about.

Reliable Estimation of Purchasing Power Parities

Purchasing power parities (PPPs) are widely used by researchers and policy makers in converting countries’ national accounts into comparable units. They are compiled by the International Comparison Program (ICP), and administered by the World Bank in collaboration with other regional organizations. Despite their importance and serious debates, reliability of PPP estimates has not been adequately studied. In a series of papers (with Prasada Rao) I have developed a weighted method of moments approach that might eventually help to address some of these issues. I will discuss the issues and our contributions here.

Flexible Productivity Measurement

I have been developing a general non- and semi-parametric approach to modelling and estimation of efficiency/productivity models based on low-ranked penalised splines which I am calling Flexible Productivity Analysis or FPA. This approach has many desirable features and one of the objectives of this blog is to promote this approach.

Computational Bayesian Inference

Although not directly related but I have also been involved with a computational Bayesian technique developed in Machine Learning known as Variational Bayes which is finding its way into statistics and econometrics. I am one of the few econometricians with an expertise in this area and would like to explore its potential further.

Economic Measurement

The main theme of this blog is “Economic Measurement”. Economists, other social scientists, and policy makers all the time use concepts or data related to income, wealth, consumption, inflation, inequality, poverty, prices, purchasing power parities, productivity, efficiency, housing, happiness and comment about them. Local and international organisations are also heavily involved with measuring these concepts. Nonetheless there are still many conceptual and statistical issues that need to be better understood and measured. There are many researchers including some very distinguished economists [e.g. Angus Deaton, Erwin Diewert, …] working to address such issues.  Continue reading

Introduction

After two years of creating this blog, I finally started posting. Here, I write about about my research and many other things.In my next post, I give an overall view of my research and the types of posts that you might see here.