European Business Schools Librarian's Group

Les Cahiers de Recherche,
HEC Paris

No 930: Do countries falsify economic date strategically? Some evidence that they do

Tomasz Michalski () and Gilles Stoltz ()

Abstract: The authors find evidence supporting the hypothesis that countries at times misreport their eco-nomic data in a strategic manner. Among those suspected are countries with xed exchange rate regimes, high negative net foreign asset positions or negative current account balances, which corroborates the intuition developed with a simple economic model. They also find that countries with bad institutional quality rankings and those in Africa, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Latin America release economic data of questionable veracity. Their evidence calls for models with public signals to consider strategic misinformation and for establishing inde- pendent statistical agencies to assure the delivery of high quality economic data.

Keywords: capital flows; public information provision; misinformation; Benford's law; transparency

JEL-codes: D82; F31; F32; F33; F34

59 pages, April 27, 2010

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