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Shining a Light (Literally) on How Much Dictators Manipulate Their Economic Stats

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It comes as no surprise that one shouldn’t necessarily trust dictatorships to put out accurate information—especially about their reportedly glorious economies—but it has traditionally been hard to say exactly how bad the problem might be.A recent paper, published in October, by the University of Chicago’s Luis Martinez shines a light on the extent to which autocratic governments might be juicing their estimates of gross domestic product, the commonly used measure of an economy’s size and might.

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