Staff Report 207

How Prescribed Policy Can Mislead When Data Are Defective: A Follow-up to Srinivasan (1994) Using General Equilibrium

Erinç Yeldan
Jean Mercenier

Published February 1, 1996

We highlight an example of considerable bias in officially published input-output data (factor-income shares) by an LDC (Turkey), which many researchers use without question. We make use of an intertemporal general equilibrium model of trade and production to evaluate the dynamic gains for Turkey from currently debated trade policy options and compare the predictions using conservatively adjusted, rather than official, data on factor shares. We show that the predicted welfare gains are not only of a different order of magnitude, but in some cases, of a different sign, hence, suggesting contradictory policy recommendations.

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