Measuring globalization

January 25th, 2010  |  Published in Data, Social Science, Statistical Graphics

Via the Monkey Cage, an interesting and comprehensive new database, the “KOF Index of Globalization”. I’m generally a bit leery of attempts to boil down complex configurations of political economy into a pat “index”, but this one is reasonably straightforward, measuring both “economic globalization” (economic flows and trade restrictions) and “political globalization” (participation in international institutions and diplomatic relations.) The example graph at the Monkey Cage is interesting, but I immediately thought it would be better represented like this:

Globalization in post-Communist countries, 1991-2007

This could be cleaned up to deal with the overlapping names, and additional information might be useful (such as the average globalization score of all countries in each year, and the maximum and minimum scores), but I think this is pretty informative. You can see the overall political and economic integration of these countries into the capitalist world, for example. There’s also the increasing distance between the main cluster of countries on the one hand, and the insular autocracies of Belarus and Uzbekistan on the other.

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