Chinese Statistics: Classification Systems and Data Sources

74 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2013

See all articles by Carsten A. Holz

Carsten A. Holz

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - Division of Social Science

Date Written: January 7, 2013

Abstract

China has become a popular geographic area of research. Researchers make extensive use of Chinese official statistics, but these statistics are often not well understood. This article first clarifies three major issues that affect a wide range of Chinese statistics — from output and employment data to industry profitability — and then elaborates on data sources. The three data issues are changes over time to the sectoral classification system, changes to the ownership classification system, and changes to the coverage of the industry sector. Many of these changes have gone unnoticed or remain poorly understood, leaving the researcher puzzled about varying labels, apparently inconsistent data, and discontinued time series. The second part of the paper offers a gateway to a wealth of Chinese statistics whose existence is not widely known. It also points out the limitations of some of these sources and provides an overview of the secondary literature that discusses the meaning and quality of particular Chinese statistics.

Keywords: national income accounting, national statistical system, China Standard Industrial Classification System, industrial statistics coverage, ownership classification system, national statistical data sources/limitations/explanations

JEL Classification: C82, R1, P27, O53

Suggested Citation

Holz, Carsten A., Chinese Statistics: Classification Systems and Data Sources (January 7, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2202532 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2202532

Carsten A. Holz (Contact Author)

Hong Kong University of Science & Technology (HKUST) - Division of Social Science ( email )

Division of Social Science
Clear Water Bay
Clear Water Bay, Kowloon
Hong Kong

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