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mike shupp

"They have just increased GDP by 200 million yuan"

Not unless they've got sales bills and tax receipts. If the transaction isn't visible to the state, or at least to the people who keep property records, it isn't official.

That's my first response. My second is that the transaction may be a silly one which gets recorded anyhow, and this shows why we like to have several statistical figures to judge an economy rather than just GNP.

My third response ... Don't we generally exclude sales of used goods from GNP calculations, on the grounds that they're not "new" and thus not "production?" Feces really do see to fall in that category.

David Tufte

The point of the joke is that this is how GDP gets counted in China.

1) Visibility to the state is a hallmark of behavior in highly centralized states like China. Checking whether what is visible is also reasonable is a hallmark of governments, like China's, without good checks and balances.

2) Agreed. This is why even Li Keiqang, the presumptive leader of China has said that he doesn't trust their GDP numbers.

3) ;-)


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