NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Miao Liu

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February 2014Are Chinese Growth and Inflation Too Smooth? Evidence from Engel Curves
with Emi Nakamura, Jón Steinsson: w19893
China has experienced remarkably stable growth and inflation in recent years according to official statistics. We construct alternative estimates using detailed information on Chinese household purchasing patterns. As households become richer, a smaller fraction of total expenditures are spent on necessities such as grain and a larger fraction on luxuries such as eating out. We use systematic discrepancies between cross-sectional and time-series Engel curves to construct alternative estimates of Chinese growth and inflation. Our estimates suggest that official statistics present a smoothed version of reality. Official inflation rose in the 2000's, but our estimates indicate that true inflation was still higher and consumption growth was overstated over this period. In contrast, inflation w...

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