Penn World Tables

     Constructed by Robert Summers and Alan Heston of the University of Pennsylvania, together with the late Irving Kravis, the Penn World Tables are the definitive source for real national accounts data. The national accounts for each country, initially in their own currencies, are adjusted using detailed price data to obtain real national accounts in a common currency (U.S. dollars) across countries. These data are invaluable for making comparisons of Gross Domestic Product across countries, and for all manner of research on development and growth. The Penn World Tables are described in Heston and Summers (1996), and Summers and Heston (1988, 1991); see also Nuxoll (1994) for a recent application.

There are three sites that support the Penn World Tables (PWT):

  • The official site at the University of Pennsylvania
  • Interactive site at the University of Toronto
  • European site at the University of Bristol

         The current version 5.6 of the Penn World Tables, available from these sites, ends in 1992. The updated version 6.0, which runs through 1998 is currently being constructed by Robert Summers and Alan Heston, with assistance from Bettina Aten and Robert Feenstra. The beta version of this update is available from PWT version 6.0


    Heston, Alan and Summers, Robert. (1996). International price and quantity comparisons: potentials and pitfalls. American Economic Review, 86(2), May.

    Nuxoll, Daniel A. (1994). Differences in relative prices and international differences in growth rates. American Economic Review, 84, December, 1423-36.

    Summers, Robert and Heston, Alan. (1988). A new set of international comparisons of real product and price levels estimates for 130 countries, 1950-1985, Review of Income and Wealth, 34(1), March, 1-25.

    Summers, Robert and Heston, Alan. (1991). The Penn World Table (Mark 5): an expanded set of international comparisons, 1950-1988, Quarterly Journal of Economics, 106(2), May, 327-68.