HOMEMASS MEDIAXavier in the News Satellite Images Show Economies Growing and Shrinking in Real Time
30 July 2015
Satellite Images Show Economies Growing and Shrinking in Real Time
Mass media - News Sala i Martín
Business week
  
 

Tags: International

Some 250 miles above the Earth, a flock of shoebox-size Dove satellites is helping to change our understanding of economic life below.

In Myanmar, night lights indicate slower growth than World Bank estimates. In Kenya, photos of homes with metal roofs can show transition from poverty. In China, trucks in factory parking lots can indicate industrial output.

[...]

Xavier Sala-i-Martin, a professor at Columbia University in New York, used the same night-light data to question World Bank estimates that 30 percent of the globe lives in poverty. He says satellite photos suggest the percentage is just 6 percent. “It’s a big debate in my field,” Sala-i-Matin said. “That’s why it was important for me to find a referee. Let’s have an independent measure.”

[...]

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