Inequality data dark (and closed) ages
We badly need good inequality statistics. But not closed ones.
Back in December 2019, Thomas Piketty and other economists made an open call to escape the inequality-data Dark Ages. These are the main points of that call, with a final observation from me on how it should be answered.
Even as perceptions of rising inequality undermine the foundations of democracy, data on wealth and income trends remain woefully inadequate.
It is in the interest of all societies to develop an internationally recognized set of indicators and methods for tracking income, wealth, and effective tax rates accurately and transparently.
We are living in the Dark Ages of inequality statistics. More than a decade after the “Great Recession,” governments are still unable to track accurately the evolution of income and wealth.
This failure has huge costs for society. The perception that inequalities are reaching unjustifiable heights in many countries, combined with a lack of any possible informed choice for voters, is fodder for demagogues and critics of democracy.
To help inform the debate, more than 100 researchers from around the world have joined forces to develop innovative methods for compiling inequality statistics through the World Inequality Database (WID), which now covers more than 100 countries, and includes the widest possible array of available data sources.
But progress in measuring inequality has been hampered by recent policy developments, which belie narratives about greater transparency. It is critical that we develop an internationally recognized set of indicators and methods for tracking income and wealth.
All societies must start to engage more in the production and dissemination of transparent economic information. We call on all interested parties from civil society, the media, governments, and the academic community to join the effort to bring inequality data into the twenty-first century.
And my humble suggestion is…
Image source: Economist
Commenting system (still under test!!!)
You may also:
- Follow my courses on Free Software, Digital Rights and more
- Read my free ebooks and other publications
- Support this and my other works
- Calicut: How and Why Open Hardware and Open Source can and should be used in non-western countries
- La Comunificadora is back with some new, challenging projects
- About Marco
- A certain dataset of objects is still online...
- decentralized twitter easier to govern?
- Palm Oil Factoids of 2019, and its next battle
- NextCloud 16 review
- Geopolitical take-away of the week, from UK, Italy and China
- Four ways to take DNS services in your hand and WHY do it
- Save forests, not tigers or wolves
- What if that shooting guy had been a Thru...