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Digital divide is much smaller in the time distance perspective
Saturday, 20 December 2008

Beyond GDP: the rapid growth of ICT contributes to reducing world disparities

The time distance perspective shows a very different picture of the digital divide than static measures. Both perspectives are necessary and S-time-distance as a novel generic statistical measure is needed to make the present-state-of-the-art more relevant for multi-dimensional and long-term development analysis and policy debate. 

Pavle Sicherl contributed a brief note to the open discussion for the Paradiso 7FP project ‘ICT for a global sustainable future’ available below. The broader orientation beyond GDP means that comparisons and policy debate have to be broadened in two respects: 1) with new values and new Beyond GDP indexes or indicators and 2) with new statistical measures that can help the stakeholders to build their perceptions of the situation in a broader dynamic framework that is closer to the reality.
Novel monitoring method looks at delays for Lisbon targets
Monday, 29 September 2008

The Time Distance Perspective to the Commission's Report

This paper presents the application of the novel broader two-dimensional monitoring system to analyse the implementation of targets for selected structural and sustainable development indicators for the EU. It can be used across many indicators as well as across and within countries in many fields.

S-time-distance measure as the new added dimension deals with lead or lag in time of the actual attainment in a given year against the line to target (it is like tracking in time the actual arrivals in comparison with the train timetable). The degree of implementation for the two EU targets specified in the Commission Report showed that the total employment rate for EU27 was in 2007 about 2.8 years behind the line to target; for the share of the R&D expenditures in GDP S-time-distance indicates that the time delay was more than 6 years in a 6 year period, the value in 2006 was even lower than the starting value in 2000.  

For the later the total disappointment holds even for the reduced targets in the National Reform Programmes. For 7 countries with nearly 40 percent of the EU population the value in 2006 was lower than in 2000. Results by countries are presented. This is not a good indication for the long-term position of EU in the world.

The analysis for 12 selected structural and sustainable development indicators for EU15 across 7 SD themes shows that the four indicators with the greatest delays in time are related to long-term issues: sustainable transport (theme 7), share of R&D in GDP (theme 1), total greenhouse emissions and share of electricity from renewable resources (theme 6 climate change and energy). Again, their values were worse at the end of the period than in the starting year. This type of analysis can be repeated in the EU case for all 27 countries across a greater selected number of available indicators with established targets.  

These results present the situation in transparent terms with clear interpretability also to general public, which can as well facilitate understanding of the situation, need for stronger commitment and broader participation in the Lisbon process. SICENTER prepared a FREE WEB MONITORING TOOL to empower a broad range of stakeholders (such as international and national organizations, NGOs, experts, managers, educators, students and media) in Europe and in the world with an excellent presentation and communication tool that is easily understood and can support decision-making as well as influence public opinion across many fields of concern.

A Novel Picture of the Disparities in the World
Wednesday, 30 July 2008

For GDP per capita 80 countries were lagging behind Sweden for more than 70 years, of them 36 countries more than 160 years

The time distance approach can contribute a broader way of thinking and changed semantics into the present state-of-the-art of comparative analysis for the methodology to measure and assess the overall “position” and “progress” among and within countries.

In the empirical part S-time-distances were estimated for 160 countries for GDP per capita in 2003 and for about 190 countries for female life expectancy and for infant mortality in 2005 against the long-term series for Sweden as a benchmark.  

A novel added dimension of the disparity in the world is shown: one half of the countries (80 countries) were lagging Sweden by more than 70 years, of them 36 countries even for more than 160 years. For infant mortality the median value was 57 years and for female life expectancy 53 years.  

The respective Gini coefficient for GDP per capita of 0.515 is the static counterpart of the S-time-distance measure. Both measures are complementing each other but the story-telling capability to policy makers and public concerned with the world situation is much greater for the S-time-distance results.

Comparisons between EU27, USA and China illustrate the theoretical points that the degree of disparity may be very different in static terms and in time distance. This conclusion was very strong in the analysis of the Human Development Index (HDI) which raises a set of questions rather than presenting answers: how to treat and interpret inter-temporal changes of composite indicators?

This article prepared for presentation at the 30th General Conference of the International Associations for Research in Income and Wealth is available also on .  
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