Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Is the worst over?

Here is the monthly year over year real GDP growth in Armenia. Is the economy at a turning point?

Source: Constructed from cumulative monthly GDP and deflator figures reported by Armstat. Any errors are mine.

Monday, January 04, 2010

Armenian micro data

As an early present for the new year, Armstat made available for public use household surveys for the years 2004 through 2007. For the first time researchers will be able to examine the size and sources of household income, among other variables of interest; registration is required to access the databases.

The variables made available represent a subset of those compiled by Armstat (see databases on armstat.am or armstat.info). For instance, information is available at the household and not its members level. Obviously confidentiality of the information is critical, and the new releases strike a balance between the interest of the research community and the protection of the privacy of those surveyed.

Earlier in the year, Armstat made available a 10 percent subset of the 2001 population census for public use. The provision of these micro databases is nothing short of impressive. It would be good to see researchers make use of these.

Technical notes:

The surveys are available in xls and so there is little need for programming skills. But for more advance analyses they would need to be imported into some statistical software. Fortunately, the data are also available in SPSS. However, spss files (sav files) are not very useful to economists. But it is very easy to convert these files into Stata. Just install an ado file, and the data can be converted into dta files (and retain the labels). More specifically, in Stata type the following to install (and describe) usespss ado file.

ssc describe usespss
ssc install usespss

Next, and at any time using Stata to read "sav" files, type:

usespss using "filename.sav"

For more further info, consult the Stata website as well as RePEc.
As always, links to the databases are reported in the data page of aea.am.