Starting our Journey

Understanding the Evolution and Drivers of Political Freedom in the 21st Century

Photo by Unseen Histories on Unsplash

Why look at freedom? From this group of four students from three different continents, and with backgrounds in economics, business and social sciences, there arose a common interest in the level of success/failure of governments, and what really drives this. Hence, we decided to have as our research theme the evolution and drivers of political freedom, and how this relates to a government’s success in implementing proper public policies with the required urgency.

Out of said interest have we derived three questions as preliminary motivation:

  • How has freedom evolved globally in the current century? Are there any regional or temporal trends to be observed?
  • Are there any associations to be observed between various economic, social and demographic realities and the freedom citizens are granted in their respective countries?
  • At a later stage of our analysis: is there a relation between the worldwide distribution of the vaccine and economic freedom, in order to remain topical?

Data sources and structure

As our main source of data exploration for this project, we intend to focus on datasets from well-established institutions and research powerhouses that focus on socioeconomic and political topics.

Freedom House on Political Freedom

The base of our data! The political rights (PR) and civil liberties (CL) ratings range from 1 to 7, with 1 representing the most free and 7 the least free. The status designation of Free, Partly Free, or Not Free, which is determined by the average of the political rights and civil liberties ratings, indicates the general state of freedom in a country or territory.

World Bank Data:

We also look at macroeconomic data at the national-levels such as economic output indicators, education expenditure indicators, and life expectancy, plus different macroeconomic productivity measures for 167 countries [1980–2018], aggregated and segmented into different economic activity groups.

Our World in Data (COVID-19 vaccinations):

We use this data set that consists of a time series from December 8th, 2020 until March 5th, 2020, for accumulated COVID-19 vaccines administered per capita, for 125 countries and country groups

“In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

Fraser Institute on Economic Freedom:

The data rates countries’ overall economic freedom on a score out of 10 — countries with higher scores are considered to have more economic freedom -; the variables are year, country, economic freedom index, country ranking, five factors of economic — size of government, legal system and property rights, sound money, freedom to trade internationally, and regulation -, for 162 countries, measured every 5 years from 1970–2000, and yearly until 2018.

Thanks for coming by and reading our blog! We are excited to start our data visualization journey and will keep on posting as we move along!

4 students enrolled in the master’s program of statistics and data science eager to start blogging on Medium