Data Sources

Data provided were used to take up the already established indexes of economic prosperity and environmental sustainability on the one hand, and to determine the indexes first presented with the Recoupling Dashboard on the other. The indexes of solidarity and agency are based on data exclusively provided.

Integration of Gross Domestic Product

  • GDP per capita (constant 2010 US$)

GDP per capita is gross domestic product divided by mid-year population. GDP is the sum of gross value added by all resident producers in the economy plus any product taxes and minus any subsidies not included in the value of the products. It is calculated without making deductions for depreciation of fabricated assets or for depletion and degradation of natural resources. Data are in constant 2010 U.S. dollars. Source: OECD National Accounts data files.

Data Sources included in the Agency Index Data Sources included in the Agency Index

  • Confidence in empowering institutions (Gallup World Poll)

Confidence in empowering institutions is an indicator for showing empowerment and sourced from the Gallup World Poll. Each country is ranked for the following three measures of confidence in institutions: Confidence in judicial systems, confidence in national government, spread of corruption. In order to establish a rounded measure of confidence in empowering institutions across the world, the Index relies on a simple averaging of the responses from the three key questions asked in each country. Each country is given a percentage score (calculated as a combined average of the proportion of people who reported one or more of the three aspects in the month prior to interview).

  • Freedom of life choice (Gallup World Poll)

Satisfaction regarding the freedom to choose one’s lifepath is an indicator of empowerment and sourced from the Gallup World Poll. This indicator refers to the share of people reporting that they are satisfied with the freedom to choose what they do with their life. It is based on the survey question: “In this country, are you satisfied or dissatisfied with your freedom to choose what you do with your life?” and presents the percentage of the sample responding “yes”.

  • Vulnerable employment (World Bank)

Vulnerable employment is contributing family workers and own-account workers as a percentage of total employment.

  • Life expectancy (World Bank)

Life expectancy measures how long on average people could expect to live based on the age-specific death rates currently prevailing. This measure refers to people born today and is computed as a weighted average of life expectancy for men and women.

Data Sources included in the Social Solidarity Index

The Solidarity Index is composed of Inward Solidarity and Outward Solidarity.

Outward Solidarity

  • Giving index (Gallup World Poll)

Giving behavior is an indicator originally developed by the Charities Aid Foundation. This index relies on a simple averaging of three giving behaviors: Helping a stranger, Donating money, Volunteering time.

  • Satisfaction with efforts to deal with the poor (Gallup World Poll)

This indicator refers to the share of people reporting that measures that deal with poverty in this country are satisfactory.

  • Minority rights index (Gallup World Poll)

Each country is ranked for three statements regarding the rights of minority groups: racial minorities, gay or lesbian people, and immigrants. To establish a rounded measure of minority rights across the world, the index relies on a simple averaging of the responses from the three key questions asked in each country. For our analysis, we focus on the percentage of people who believe that the city or area where they live is a good place for the minority groups.

Inward Solidarity

  • Social support (Gallup World Poll)

This indicator refers to the share of people reporting that they have friends or relatives whom they can count on to help in case of need. It is based on the survey question: “If you were in trouble, do you have relatives or friends you can count on to help you whenever you need them, or not?” and presents the percentage of the sample responding “yes”.

Scoring Environmental Sustainability

  • Environmental Performance Index

The Environmental Performance Index (EPI) ranks countries on 32 performance indicators across 11 issue categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality. Source: Wendling et al. (2020)

    • Co2 Emissions (Carbon Monitor)

Carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the use of fossil fuels and the production of cement are the main driving force of climate change. The Carbon Monitor is an international initiative providing for the first time regularly updated, science-based estimates of daily CO2 emissions. Estimates of fossil CO2 emissions rely on activity data (e.g., the amount of fuel burnt or energy produced) and emission factors. The data reveal the drop and re-growth of emissions during the COVID-19 pandemics for all G7 countries (no data available for Canada). The data is available on https://carbonmonitor.org/

    • Greenhouse Gas Emissions (Climate Action Tracker)

No data from the Carbon Monitor is available for Canada. In order to still have an idea about Canadas performance in terms of emissions we use Greenhouse Gas Emission data from the Climate Action Tracker. This is not directly comparable to CO2 Emission from the other source, but gives an indication of Canada’s reduction in GHG emissions in 2020. Source: Climate Action Tracker

General Notes on the Collection and Variables Selection

As is frequent with data projects, some of the variables included in the Recoupling Dashboard have a degree of missing data. To ensure continuity and comparability between composite scores over time, it is necessary to estimate values for these years. Missing data can be located in the interior of the available time series or at the exterior. For the former, the linear interpolation method is used – values are replaced with numbers incrementally higher or lower than the neighboring data points. For the latter, the missing values are replaced using the closest data point from source (last value carried forward – LVCF – or first value carried backward – FVCB). 

Data collected to compute the indexes are diverse. At source, the variables collected are produced on different scales, and can also have different polarities – higher is better or higher is worse. In order for them to be meaningfully combined and compared, raw data are standardized before being included in the indexes. We employ a min-max normalization whereby all raw data are transformed to a scale of 0.0-1.0 (where a score of 1.0 is the best score a country can achieve). While this constitutes an order-preserving linear transformation of the data, a score of 1.0 after normalization does not imply that a country’s score in raw data terms is perfect, but rather is the best score in the set of countries.

The authors of the Recoupling Dashboard use linear, additive aggregation and weigh each sub-component equally within its dimension.

Pew Study Sources

  • Delvin, Kat & Kent, Nicholas. “As Pandemic Continues, More in U.S. and Europe Feel Major Impact on Their Live”. Pew Research Center. 3 February, 2021 
  • Connaughton, Aidan & Delvin, Kat. “Most Approve of National Response to COVID-19 in 14 Advanced Economies”. Pew Research Center. 27 August, 2020

About the Authors

Dennis J. Snower

Prof. Dennis J. Snower is President of the Global Solutions Initiative. He is Professor of Macroeconomics and Sustainability at the Hertie School, Berlin; Senior Research Fellow at the Blavatnik School of Governance, Oxford University and Non-resident Fellow of The Brookings Institution. He is President Emeritus of the Kiel Institute for the World Economy and has published extensively on employment policy, the design of welfare systems, caring economics and monetary and fiscal policy. 

Vita

Katharina Lima de Miranda

Dr. Katharina Lima de Miranda is a researcher at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (Research Coordinator of the Global Solutions Initiative). Her current research focus lies in the application of behavioral economic insights to sustainable social development, whereby she builds on her rich expertise in empirical and experimental economic research.

Vita

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