演講者簡介 : Professor Tsang received his Ph.D. in Economics from University of Washington, Seattle in 2008. He is currently an Associate Professor at Virginia Tech. His research interests are Macroeconomics, Housing Economics, International Finance, and Adam Smith.
演講摘要 : This paper explores information content from an unusual aspect of historical data, data quality. We find that the quality of grain price data from middle to late Qing China (1738 to 1911) contains information on local cultural traits, which are persistent and correlated with economic outcomes in modern China. We first investigate and analyze the variation of data quality across regions and over time. In addition to weather and wars, data quality is related to a number of other factors that include population density, distance from capital, and inflation. Moreover, we argue that the unexplained part of data quality is related with local cultural traits, such as conscience and responsibility. And, we find that prefectures that had higher data quality in Qing also have fewer causalities during the Great Famine (1959-1961) and a lower frequency of GDP data bunching in recent years, indicating a persistent effect of culture traits.